Painter Rick Bartow, 1946-2016
April 3, 2016 / Bob Kiefer
Oregon artist Rick Bartow, a master of visionary imagery that reflects his Native American roots, died last night at his home south of Newport. He was 69.
A Vietnam veteran, a graduate of Western Oregon State College, a recovering alcoholic and a fine rock ‘n’ roll musician, Bartow made big, intense, and sometimes downright weird paintings and sculpture in a wide variety of mediums. Frequently using animal imagery, his work has been shown around Oregon and around the country, from the Portland Art Museum and the Hallie Ford Museum of Art to Arizona’s Heard Museum and the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art in Indianapolis.
Last year his career was examined in a large retrospective – “Things You Know But Cannot Explain” – at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art in Eugene. Curated by JSMA’s executive director Jill Hartz and associate curator Danielle Knapp, the show has since traveled to the Gilcrease Museum in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where it runs through April. It will travel to the IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts in Santa Fe later this year; to the Heard Museum in Phoenix and to the Washington State University Museum of Art in Pullman in 2017; and to the Autry National Center of the American West in Los Angeles in 2019.
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