Richard Estes (American, born May 14, 1932) is a Photorealist painter famed for his meticulous attention to detail and invisible brushwork. He was born in Kewanee, IL, but moved to Chicago with his family at a young age. From 1952 to 1956, Estes studied Fine Art at the Art Institute of Chicago. Estes relocated to New York, NY, after graduating. Estes worked for the next 10 years of his life as a commercial artist for various publishers in New York and Spain; by 1966, the artist had saved up enough money to allow himself to paint full time. In the 1960s, Photorealism emerged from Modern Art movements, such as Pop Art and Minimalism, with the help of Estes and his contemporaries, including painter Chuck Close and sculptor Duane Hanson. Estes was influenced by early Realist artists like Edgar Degas and Thomas Eakins, whose art he was exposed to as a student at the Art Institute. Estes’s paintings are reproductions of photographs he takes of urban landscapes, most of which are realistic representations of Manhattan, with few to no people on the streets and sidewalks. Estes often exaggerates the detail in his imagery by using mirrored objects and reflections. Double Self-portrait (1976), one of his most well-known works, is a great example of how he uses reflection to expand the depth of an image.

In 1968, Estes had his first solo exhibition at the Allan Stone Gallery in New York City, and, in 1971, was granted a fellowship with the National Council for the Arts. During the 1970s, Estes was chosen three times to represent the United States at the Bienniales in Venice and Basel. He also received the MECA Award for Achievement as a Visual Artist from Maine College of Art. In the 1980s, Estes began painting landscapes of Chicago, Paris, Florence, and other cities he visited. The artist went on to create a series of seascapes in the 1990s. These seascapes mainly consisted of representations of the coast of Maine, where Estes now lives and works when not in New York City.


Born in Kewanee, IL
Studied at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL
Moved from Chicago to New York, NY
Lived and painted in Spain
Worked as a commercial artist in publishing and advertising; doing paste-ups, layouts, illustrations, etc
Recipient, MECA Award for Achievement as a Visual Artist, Maine College of Art, Portland, ME
Lives and works in New York, NY


Hiperrealismo: 1967-2012 - Louis K. Meisel Gallery, New York City, NY S
Hyperrealism 1967-2012 - Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid
Schauplatz Stadt - Gemälde, Zeichnungen, Installationen von der Klassischen Moderne bis zur Gegenwart - Kunstmuseum Mülheim an der Ruhr, Mülheim/Ruhr
Il Guggenheim. L'avanguardia americana 1945–1980 - Palazzo delle Esposizioni, Rome
Photorealism Revisited - Louis K. Meisel Gallery, New York City, NY
Photorealism Revisited - Oklahoma City Museum of Art, Oklahoma City, OK
Double Feature - Art And The Movies - Des Moines Art Center, Des Moines, IA
Print - Woodward Gallery, New York City, NY
New York by Night - Marlborough New York, New York City, NY
The Urban Landscape - Sims Reed Gallery, London (England)
Photorealism - Painting with a Camera - Kunsthalle Tübingen, Tübingen
Exposition de groupe - Marlborough Monaco, Monaco
Leben Mit Pop! - Museum der bildenden Künste Leipzig, Leipzig
Multiplicity - Arkansas Arts Center, Little Rock, AR
Group exhibition - Marlborough Monaco, Monaco
Summer Group Exhibition - Marlborough New York, New York City, NY
ReFocus: Art of the 1970s - MOCA - Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville, Jacksonville, FL
Optical Noise - David Winton Bell Gallery, Providence, RI
New York For Sale - Katonah Museum of Art, Katonah, NY
East of Eden - Photorealism: Versions of Reality - Ludwig Museum - Museum of Contemporary Art - Budapest, Budapest
Recent Acquisitions - Reading Public Museum, Reading, PA
Summer Group Exhibition - Marlborough New York, New York City, NY
Group Show - Marlborough New York, New York City, NY
Scream Collection Part II - Scream London, London (England)
Hyper Real – Kunst und Amerika um 1970 - Ludwig Forum für Internationale Kunst, Aachen
Group Show - Marlborough New York, New York City, NY
Graphics Group Exhibition - Marlborough New York, New York City, NY
Richard Estes, Marlborough Gallery Monaco, Monaco (solo)
Marlborough Gallery, New York, NY
Richard Estes: Die Serigraphien, Edition Domberger, Filderstadt, Germany (solo)
Richard Estes: Antarctica, New England, and New York, Marlborough Gallery, New York, NY (solo)
Summer Exhibition, Marlborough Gallery, New York, NY
Richard Estes: The Sensuousness of the Real, Palazzo Magnani, Reggio Emilia, Italy; Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid, Spain (solo)
Richard Estes: Recent Work, Marlborough Gallery, New York, NY (solo)
Highlights: Print Selections from the Permanent Collection, The Museum of the Arts of Virginia Commonwealth University, Anderson Gallery, Richmond, VA
Landscape, Cityscape, Marlborough Gallery, New York, NY
La Ingeniería Civil en la Pintura, Sala de Exposiciones de la Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando, Madrid, Spain
Pinturas Recientes, AMS Marlborough, Santiago, Chile (solo)
Oeuvres Récentes, Marlborough Monaco, Monaco (solo)
Tools as Art: The Hechinger Collection, traveled to City Museum, St. Louis, MO
Recent paintings, Marlborough Gallery, New York, NY
Richard Estes: Obra Reciente, Galeria Marlborough, Madrid, Spain
Richard Estes: Six New Paintings, Marlborough Gallery, New York, NY
Richard Estes: The Complete Prints, American Federation of the Arts, The Museum at Stony Brook, Stony Brook, NY
Richard Estes: New York Cityscapes, FIAC 1993, and Grand Palais, for Marlborough Gallery, New York, NY
Richard Estes: Urban Landscapes, Portland Museum of Art, Portland, ME (solo)
Richard Estes 1990, Museum of Art, Kinetsu, Osaka, Canada (solo)
Richard Estes: The Complete Prints and the Japan Paintings, Sert Gallery, Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA (solo)
Louis K. Meisel Gallery, New York, NY
Richard Estes: A Decade, Allan Stone Gallery, New York, NY (solo)
Richard Estes: The Urban Landscape, Museum of Fine Arts Boston, MA (solo)
Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL
Allan Stone Gallery, New York, NY
Hudson River Museum, Yonkers, NY
Allan Stone Gallery, New York, NY

Public Collections

Académie Francaise, Paris, France
Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL
Boca Raton Museum of Art. Boca Raton, FL
Currier Museum of Art, Manchester, NH
Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit, MI
Farnsworth Art Museum, Rockland, ME
High Museum of Art, Atlanta, GA
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC
Indianapolis Museum Of Art, Indianapolis, IN
Kemper Museum Of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, MO
La Biblioteca Luis Ángel Arango, Bogota, Colombia
Ludwig Múzeum, Budapest, Hungary
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY
Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Fort Worth, TX
Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY
Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid, Spain
Museum Ludwig, Cologne, Germany
Museum Moderner Kunst, Stiftung Ludwig, Vienna, Austria
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA
Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY
National Air And Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC.
National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC
Nelson-Atkins Museum Of Art, Kansas City, MO
Neue Galerie der Stadt Aachen, Ludwig Collection, Aachen, Germany
Norton Simon Museum Of Art, Pasadena, CA
Portland Art Museum, Portland, OR
San Antonio Museum Of Art, San Antonio, TX
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY
Springfield Museum of Fine Arts, Springfield, MA
Tate Gallery, London, UK
Teheran Museum of Contemporary Art, Teheran, Iran
Toledo Museum of Art, Toledo, OH
Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, VA
Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY


Wilmerding, John. Richard Estes. New York: Rizzoli, 2006
Arthur, John. Richard Estes: Paintings & Prints. Petaluma, California: Pomegranate Communications, 1993
Canaday, John. Richard Estes: The Urban Landscape. New York: New York Graphic Society, 1979