Ryder Richards was born in 1977 and raised in Roswell, New Mexico. He currently lives and works in the Dallas, Texas area as an artist, writer, and former curator. After earning degrees from Texas Tech University and Texas Christian University in art with a minor in architecture, he became the co-founder of the RJP Nomadic Gallery, The Art Foundation, and Culture Laboratory Collective. After this he founded of EUTOPIA: Contemporary Art Review (2014-2020). More recently he began “let’s THiNK about it” podcast.
Ryder has participated in many national and international exhibitions and residencies and continues to examine power structures and social/political interactions in an attempt to consider bias.
In the midst of this, Richards was a fellow at Roswell Artist-in-Residence from September 2012 until August 2013, was the art department chair at Eastfield College in Mesquite, TX from 2013-2016, and is now an independent artist and creative director, a podcaster, and woodworker.
With a broad exhibition history, Richards has exhibited at the Bellevue Museum, Seattle; Roswell Museum, Roswell, NM; Olm Space, Switzerland; Public Address, Brooklyn; Museum of Contemporary Art, Thessolanica, Greece; Antena, Chicago; Falling Water, Pennsylvania; Cornell University, Ithaca; Monkskirche, Tangermunde, Germany; Studio Kura, Japan; C2 Pottery Gallery, China; Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art, Thessaloniki, Greece; Blue Star Contemporary Art Museum, San Antonio; ArtPace, San Antonio; The Luminary, St. Louis ; Lawndale, Houston; Amarillo Museum of Art; San Diego Art Institute; The London Art Fair; University of Oklahoma. Locally, in Dallas, he showed at The Power Station, The Reading Room, Beefhaus, and Gray Matters. Ryder participated in The Texas Biennial 2011 and 2013 and the Dallas Biennial 2012 and 2014.
Publicly, he art works in the collection of El Centro College and Richland College, Dallas. Richards has works in the permanent collections of The Anderson Contemporary Museum, Roswell Museum, McNeese University, Richland College, and several private collectors.
My practice has covered many topics, from high-modernist aesthetics as a religion to reputational honor through performed violence. A commonality running through the majority of my work is the observation and engagement with institutional and ideological contradictions in an attempt to expand the discourse and recognize bias.
In the mid 2010’s I became focused on police violence, multiple forms of power, and the civilian rebuttals to coercion and corruption. Afterward, this moved forward previous art and gallery practices on institutional critique into realms of labor, class, economics, and gentrification within the art world and its conflicted consumptive practices. Currently, my work is focused in DIY as a form of self-empowerment enmeshed with identity and capitalism.
Emotionally, the work is both sincere and subversive: a bit clumsy fetish and part earnest entreaty.