Richard McLean

Obituary
  • "My name is Christopher Trian. Richard was my teacher in the..."
  • "My 50 year friendship with Richard was an important and..."
    - Mel and Leta Ramos
  • "He may be gone, but the memories live on in your hearts."
    - Pam Ross
  • "Richard will truly be missed. As a graduate student at SFSU..."
    - Guy Diehl

1934 - 2014
Richard McLean, renowned photorealist painter and educator, passed away peacefully in his sleep on January 3rd, 2014, surrounded by his loving family. He was 79 years old.

Born April 12, 1934 in Hoquiam, WA, Richard received his early education in the rural community of New Meadows in north central Idaho from which he graduated in 1953. He received no formal instruction in art until he entered Boise State in the fall of that year, relying throughout his boyhood on what he managed to absorb through observation of newspaper comic strips, comic books and illustrations from the popular magazines of the day. He also exhibited, from an early age, an overall, general fascination with the visible world.

In 1955 he married Darlene Young, and moved to the San Francisco Bay Area to continue his studies at the California College of Arts and Crafts where he earned his BFA. In 1962 he was awarded an MFA from Mills College in Oakland. He was also Professor Emeritus at San Francisco State University where he taught for thirty years.

He is represented in New York City by OK Harris Works of Art, a gallery with whom he has been associated since 1970. McLean's work is included in numerous private and public collections in the U.S. and abroad including The Whitney Museum of American Art, The Guggenheim Museum, Smithsonian Institution, Yale University Art Gallery, The Ludwig Museum of Modern Art in Vienna, Boijmans Museum in Rotterdam, the Netherlands and the Kunstmuseum in Hanover, Germany. He continues to exhibit widely, having recently concluded exhibitions in Denmark, Austria, Italy, France, and Japan.

Among his friends and family, he was known as warm and generous, of keen wit, with an ironic sense of humor. An avid lover of jazz music, he could often be found playing trumpet along with the radio in his art studio. He infused the same integrity into his daily life and family as he did into his work. Widely loved, Richard will be greatly missed by his many friends.

Mr. McLean most recently resided in Castro Valley and is survived by his loving wife of 58 years, Darlene, son Ian, daughter Caitlin, and his three grandchildren, Justin, Darian, and Jesse.
Published on NYTimes.com from Jan. 17 to Jan. 18, 2014
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