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April 8, 2024

In 1971, American sculptor Richard Hunt was the first African American to have a major retrospective at New York's Museum of Modern Art. He was 35 years old. 

Fifty-three years later, over two dozen of his seminal pieces have been reunited in Early Masterworks, an exhibition at White Cube New York (which runs through April 13), presenting the sculptures created between 1955 and 1969.


April 2024

Sculptor Richard Hunt (1935–2023), who died in December at the age of eighty-eight, is honored with a comprehensive exhibition of his early works, currently on view at White Cube. Early Masterworks homes in on the artist’s output from 1955–69, a fruitful decade that saw the young Hunt—later to become acclaimed for his large, public sculptures—testing, experimenting, and refining the distinctive style that would become his own.

White Cube

March 13 - April 13, 2024

White Cube presents a solo exhibition, Early Masterworks, by the late artist Richard Hunt (1935–2023). One of the leading American sculptors of the 20th century, this is the gallery’s first presentation of Hunt's work since announcing representation in November 2023.

This show will bring together sculptures from the artist's early career, with a focus on his 1971 solo exhibition at MoMA, New York, which was, at the time, the first retrospective for an African American sculptor at the museum.

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March 20, 2024

“Nothing, or maybe everything?” wrote the twenty-year-old Richard Hunt in 1957, when asked to identify his artistically significant “ancestry, nationality or background” by the Museum of Modern Art. MoMA was then acquiring Hunt’s virtuosic steel sculpture “Arachne,” not long followed by his 1971 retrospective—the first major solo exhibition of a Black sculptor in the institution’s history. Hunt’s enigmatic refusal of MoMA’s demographic questionnaire gestures toward the formal, social and ontological questions at stake for a sculptor seeking to create symbols of “universal freedom” while speaking to the triumphs and sacrifices of Black history. “From the land of pain and suffering, through the arc of confrontations,” he wrote.

Block Club Chicago

February 29, 2024

As a student at Howard University, Faheem Majeed would walk across campus in the late ’90s and admire the works of abstract sculptures in welded bronze and steel alloys.

There was “Freedmen’s Column,” outside of the auditorium, “A Bridge Across and Beyond” steps away from the entrance to a social hub of campus and “Symbiosis” outside of another building on the school’s upper quad. 

All were the creations of Richard Hunt, one of the United States’ most influential sculptors throughout his roughly 70-year career. His work appeared in museums across the country and public spaces in an artistic field that didn’t boast many Black people. 

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19 News

February 28, 2024

“Sentimental Scale and Wedge” gets rededicated Thursday at noon with Judge Sheehan presenting a proclamation honoring Hunt’s career. Also speaking at the event, artist John Ranally of Cleveland’s Studio Foundry, who knew and worked with Hunt.

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Martin Cid Magazine

February 24, 2024

White Cube New York is pleased to present a solo exhibition of works by Richard Hunt (1935–2023). One of the preeminent American sculptors of the 20th century, Hunt’s hybrid creations are characterized by an exploration of dualities – the natural and the industrial, the surreal and the abstract, the geometric and the organic.

Opening on 13 March 2024, Early Masterworks is the gallery’s first exhibition by the artist, and the second-largest gathering of his works in the city for over 50 years, bringing together over 25 important examples from the early part of his oeuvre.


February 1, 2024

For a long time, it seemed like he could last forever. His wiry body was as strong as the metals that he spent his life welding, casting, cutting, shaping, bending to his will. His friends felt that strength every time he hugged them; that sturdy embrace was his standard greeting. He radiated warmth.

Richard Howard Hunt, who passed away in December at eighty-eight, was the greatest sculptor ever born in Chicago. And he was one of the most innovative and prolific in America, with some 160 public sculptures displayed across the United States, and other works in museums around the globe.

Smithsonian American Art Museum

December 21, 2023

"SAAM marks and mourns the passing of Richard Hunt, who died on December 16, 2023. 

He played a leadership role as a Commissioner at the Smithsonian American Art Museum (1980-1988) and on the Smithsonian National Board (1994-1997). Charles C. Eldredge, former director at SAAM, remembered Hunt as a member of the board 'who always exercised a quiet but vital voice in debates.…A thoughtful and valued contributor, smart as well as wonderfully skilled in his art.'

Upon Hunt’s passing, President Barack Obama declared the sculptor 'one of the greatest artists Chicago ever produced.'"

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Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture

December 19, 2023


"Hunt’s stature and impact cannot be overstated," says Kevin Young, the Andrew W. Mellon Director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC), who released the following statement on the death of American visual artist Richard Hunt, who died Dec. 16 at the age of 88.

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Washington Post

December 19, 2023


"Hunt’s early career paralleled the rise of the modern civil rights movement. He often drew on Black history and culture in his work, which included more than 160 pieces of public art. 


Months after [Emmett] Till’s funeral, he completed one of his first welded steel sculptures, the modest but searing Hero’s Head (1956), a memorial to the slain teenager. He later produced sculptures of prominent Black Americans including the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., Mary McLeod Bethune, Jesse Owens, Hobart Taylor Jr. and Ida B. Wells, in addition to making pieces that commemorated the Middle Passage and the Great Migration."

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Chicago Tribune

December 17, 2023


"Hunt’s work has been recognized for the mark it has made on Chicago and the world. In Chicago, in addition to the Light of Truth Ida B. Wells National Monument, Hunt recently completed the sculptural model for a monument to Emmett Till, titled Hero Ascending, to be installed in 2024 at the Woodlawn home where Till lived with his mother before he was murdered during a 1955 trip to Mississippi."

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New York Times

December 16, 2023


"Richard Hunt, a prolific sculptor whose towering metalwork became a mainstay of American public art, and whose 70-year career drew the attention of presidents from Lyndon B. Johnson to Barack Obama, died on Saturday at his home in Chicago. He was 88.


He produced soaring installations of public art over a career that he said was shaped by attending the funeral of Emmett Till."

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Chicago Sun-Times

December 16, 2023


"A lifelong advocate for equity and inclusion, the Chicagoan recently completed a model for a monument to Emmett Till that is to be installed at the childhood home of the civil rights icon.

In a statement Saturday, President Barack Obama said Hunt’s sculpture, Book Bird, will sit outside a new branch of the Chicago Public Library at the Obama Presidential Center and 'be an inspiration for visitors from around the world, and an enduring reminder of a remarkable man.'"

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White Cube

November 16, 2023


White Cube is pleased to announce global representation of Richard Hunt (b. 1935, Chicago, Illinois), one of the leading American sculptors of the 20th century. The artist’s first solo exhibition with the gallery will take place in spring 2024 at White Cube New York.

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November 16, 2023

White Cube has announced global representation of pioneering American sculptor Richard Hunt, promising audiences near and far a re-introduction to Hunt’s cerebral, sinewy creations. First for the calendars, the gallery will present Hunt’s landmark Years of Pilgrimage (1999) at the upcoming Art Basel Miami Beach. 


November 16, 2023

White Cube has announced its global representation of American sculptor Richard Hunt, born in 1935 in Chicago. Hunt, a pivotal figure in 20th century sculpture, will present his first solo exhibition at the New York-based gallery in spring 2024.


August 25, 2023


Hunt's Prometheus was on display in the British Museum's exhibition New acquisitions: Paul Bril to Wendy Red Star until September 10, 2023 and is now available to view by appointment in the Prints and Drawings Study Room. The print is a direct response to the lynching of Emmett Till, the cri de cœur of a young Black artist who had been among the thousands who viewed his open casket in Chicago and remained haunted by a photograph of Till's mutilated body that he had seen in Jet, a magazine aimed at the African American community.

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August 22, 2023

Richard Hunt’s studio is a repository of creativity that can give one whiplash. Upon entering the Lill Avenue cavernous structure, one sees light, shadows, books, cardboard and metal ready to be metamorphosed into something transcendental. Artistic works are in progress, and an artist like Hunt is always in process amid pictures and maquettes of his earlier works with metal.

April 20, 2023

Illinois First Lady MK Pritzker hosted a cocktail reception at the Governor's Mansion the evening of Monday, April 24, 2023, to welcome Illinois' cultural leaders attending the "One State Conference and Capital Day" in Springfield. The First Lady will delivered a proclamation honoring world-renowned sculptor Richard Hunt and declared April 24, 2023, Richard Hunt Day in Illinois.


October 13, 2022 - February 5, 2023

Monumentality is often understood with the contexts of scale, visibility, intrepidness, and permanence. Still, it also concerns the meaning created by and through negotiated relationships between objects, individuals, and shared histories. All these meanings coalesce in the work of Richard Hunt (b. 1935), one of the foremost American sculptors of the past century. His reputation seemed sealed in 1971, at only thirty-five, when he became the first Black artist to have a significant solo retrospective exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Indeed, much of the attention he has received from the art world ever since has remained focused on his early and more gallery-scaled work.


January 3, 2023


The Best Black Art Books of 2022 explore the work of El Anatsui, Firelei Baez, Richard Hunt, Marilyn Nance, Henry Taylor, Black potters, Haitian artists, and more.


October 17, 2022

"The archive, estimated at approximately 800 linear feet, contains detailed notes and correspondence, notebooks, sketchbooks, photographic documentation, financial records, research, ephemera, blueprints, posters, drawings, and lithographs, as well as a selection of wax models for public sculptures. At the heart of the archive are Hunt’s project files which contain complete records on every commission, project, exhibition, and body of work that Hunt has produced."

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Summer 2022

In this feature documentary, producers Rana Segal and Laurie Little weave together the process of the creation of the monument of Ida B. Wells with her history and the sculptor’s history. Richard Hunt has been a major figure in American art for 40 years. We will show why a monument for this “shero” is so important at this time.


July 22, 2022

The Chicago collector John B. Davidson has recently donated two drawings by Hunt to the National Gallery of Art: a large, undated sheet of exploratory studies and a finished drawing from 1974. The first offers wonderful insights into the artist’s ruminations on abstracted forms unconnected to a specific sculpture, while the latter is the first major independent drawing by Hunt to enter the National Gallery’s collection.


June 9, 2022


The 2022 Legends and Legacy Award was presented on behalf of the Art Institute of Chicago by the Leadership Advisory Committee to iconic Chicago artist Richard Hunt.


February 28, 2022

The Obama Foundation has commissioned a sculpture, Book Bird, for the Obama Presidential Center on the South Side of Chicago. Hunt’s sculpture will be placed in the Library Reading Garden outside of the new Chicago Public Library branch on the Obama Presidential Center campus. Book Bird will depict a bird taking flight from a book to illuminate how reading and learning allows readers to enter new places and fly free.


July 1, 2021


"This week, a Chicago committee revealed a new statue paying tribute to the anti-lynching and suffrage activist Ida B. Wells, making it the city’s first sculpture honoring a Black woman." - Smithsonian Magazine


June 30, 2021


The Light of Truth Ida B. Wells National Monument, created by famed sculptor Richard Hunt, is unveiled in Bronzeville on June 30, 2021.

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February 9, 2021

Richard Hunt’s career trajectory reads like a modern-day version of a Baroque-era prodigy’s story. In 1957, while he was a student at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC), the Museum of Modern Art purchased one of his works. Soon after, his sculptures were on display at the Whitney, the Cleveland Museum of Art, and the Art Institute of Chicago.

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Exhibition: Sep 17, 2020–Nov 16, 2020 | Feb 11, 2021–Sep 20, 2021

The sculptures of Chicago-based artist Richard Hunt are a form of improvisation, an unfolding dialogue, as the artist expresses, “between me, the technique, and the material.” This exhibition draws its title, Scholar’s Rock or Stone of Hope or Love of Bronze, from a monumental bronze sculpture that exemplifies Hunt’s recent practice. Over the last six years, he has engaged in a durational approach of continually adding, removing, and reshaping the work, investigating the meaning of bronze both in relation to its mythological and material attributes, as well as its inherent transformative possibilities. 


September 14, 2020


While a student in 1953, Richard Hunt attended “Sculpture of the 20th Century,” a traveling show at the Art Institute of Chicago in which he first saw the welded-steel work Spanish sculptor Julio González, a discovery that would set the course of his artistic career.

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March 24, 1971

New York art critic Hilton Kramer reviews Richard Hunt's 1971 retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) -- the first African American sculptor to have a retrospective at the museum.

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