Some years back, Richard Pantell found himself rambling around the country with a guitar, following a very discouraging college experience as a painting major (“White on white’s not my bag, Professor.”). After a few years, while performing in an Idaho saloon, it occurred to him that he’d rather be painting. So he packed his gear and headed back to New York and registered for classes at the Art Students League, where the true artist in him was able to emerge. There, he honed his skills in painting and also discovered printmaking. He realized his love for New York and its people—a dominant aspect of his imagery. He now had what he needed to develop as a working artist.
Prints and paintings by Mr. Pantell can be found in collections of the British Museum, the Butler Institute of American Art, the Wichita Museum, the Newark Museum, the Museum of the City of New York, and the Jewish Museum in Stockholm, Sweden, to name a few. He has received honors, awards, grants, and gold medals from the National Academy, Allied Artists of America, the Society of American Graphic Artists, New York Foundation for the Arts, and many others.
The medium he finds most gratifying is printmaking. Adding to that gratification is his ability to take the mystery out of the medium. Understanding students’ doubts and fears regarding the technical aspects of printmaking, he has the ability to quickly dispel them. In short, confidence replaces apprehension, as he encourages students to experiment with the medium and learn to master the complexities of the art. The choice of whether the work should be complex or simple, or what the content should be, is left to the individual. Mr. Pantell strongly believes that content determines the quality of the piece, and that while the medium is not necessarily the message, he helps the student develop the skills to handle it.