brian rice

About the artist

Brian Rice

The launch of the website Catalogue Raisonné represents the first complete cataloguing of Brian Rice's graphic work and celebrates almost 60 years of this major artist's activity. Rice's singular career covers a period of remarkable dedication and innovation as a successful and highly-productive painter and printmaker. This site catalogues the stylistic shifts in his printmaking and documents his visual language in a way that has not been seen before. 

Living in Somerset until he was twenty (1956), it was the period from 1962-1978 when he lived and worked in London that marked the formative years in this artist's career, strengthening both the conviction of his abstract work and his reputation. In 1978 Rice rejected London, its art scene and abstract painting and, buying a 50-acre farm in West Dorset, he immersed himself in farming – his only contact with the art world was teaching at Brighton Polytechnic. He did, however, continue to work slowly, developing a visual language that was part of a dialogue with the past, inspired by marks made by prehistoric man and the archaeology of the Dorset landscape. In1995 he had his first solo exhibition for 16 years, a point which marked Rice's renewed commitment to life as an artist.

Always an unconventional printmaker, Rice's recent association (from 2006) with the publishing/printing house Artizan Editions encouraged a series of works where the primacy of experiment is apparent. The essence of Rice's work remains in the area of colour and simple forms, with his instinctual insight represented in each line, plane and colour in which the viewer is invited into a dialogue with the work. This Catalogue Raisonnée examines the progress of his printmaking oeuvre, setting it in the context of his life from the first print made at Yeovil School of Art in 1953 to the present time.

Read more:

Brian Rice as Printmaker: Beyond Finality – a biographical essay by Tessa Sidey (PDF document).

I would like to pay tribute to Tessa Sidey, who I was privileged to meet when she visited my studio prior to writing this essay in 2010. She was lively company and a perceptive observer, and has made an invaluable contribution to this Catalogue Raisonné. I am sad to note that this was less than a year before her untimely death on January 1st 2011. Brian Rice

Profile of Brian Rice by Sara Hudston – This essay was written to accompany a profile of BR in Printmaking Today Vol. 10 No. 2, Summer 2001.

The essay was illustrated by four prints: The Kings Tomb (P 114), Radio (P068), November (P051) and Structure (P050). The print Alhambra (P045) was illustrated on the cover of this issue.

Copyright © 2010-2011 Brian Rice