Richard McLean

Richard McLean, “Homoerotic Phones”, Drawing in Graphite

Richard McLean was an American painter and leading member of the Photorealist movement. Best known for his equestrian paintings, his intensely detailed and lifelike depictions of horses and their riders established him as a unique voice within the movement.

Born in 1934 in Hoquiam, Washington, McLean’s early artistic career was shaped by his study under painter and printmaker Richard Diebenkorn at the Bay Area California College of Arts and Crafts, where he received a BFA before going to on earn his MFA at Mills College in San Francisco. As one of the thirteen most prominent Photorealist painters during the 1960s and 70s alongside the likes of Chuck Close and Richard Estes, he is notable for his consistent use of Western subject matter in his works.

Before his death on January 3, 2014 in his hometown, McLean’s work was featured in many prominent international exhibitions, including the 1970 “Twenty-Two Realists” at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, and the 1972 “Documenta” in Kassel, Germany.

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