In preparation for our upcoming landscape show, Resonant Terrain, we have added several lithographs by Richard Florsheim, one of the artists selected for the exhibit, to our 20th century print inventory. With titles like “City Lights”, “Illuminations”, and “Light and Water”, it is apparent the Florsheim was engrossed with and inspired by his surroundings, allowing both the sea and the city to have equal reign over his creative focus. Using large, gestural sweeps of the lithographic pencil over stone and dynamic swathes of color, Florsheim was able to capture the vibrancy of his hometowns of Chicago and Provincetown.
Richard Florsheim was active as a painter, sculptor and graphics artist in Chicago, Milwaukee, Provincetown, and Woodstock, New York. Florsheim was born in Chicago in 1916. He spent his youth and early adulthood studying at the University of Chicago and in New York with artist Aaron Bohrod. His father paid for a lengthy European independent study, where Florsheim exhibited at Salon des Refusés, and the Musée du Jeu de Paume honored him by purchasing one of his paintings, Don Quixote.
Florsheim returned to Chicago in 1939, and began lithography in 1940, exhibiting at the Quest Gallery and working out of a studio on North Avenue. He then enlisted in the US Navy, active in the Pacific Theater as a cartographer. It was at this time that he also obtained patents for his radar plane-spotting technique.
After the war, he resumed his artistic career, exhibiting widely. He helped found the Artists’ League of the Midwest with Artists’ Equity Association of New York. He was assistant director of the Arts Center Association, 1951-52, and taught at the Layton School of Art in Milwaukee from 1949 to 1950, and the Contemporary Art Workshop in Chicago from 1952 to 1963. From 1965 to 1973, he was a board member of the Illinois Arts Council. Florsheim was a member of the National Academy of Design, the Society of American Graphic Artists, the Provincetown Art Association, which he served as Trustee and Vice President from 1962 to 1971, and the Chicago Society of Artists.