Radebaugh -- Short Biography -- 2016
“As a child in Maine, I spent rainy, summer afternoons in the barn with oil paints, occupying myself for hours. In my early teens, I created large oil abstracts on my bedroom walls and ceiling and the walls of my uncle’s bathroom. Entering the College of Wooster as a pre-med student, I preferred studying photography and jewelry making. I designed and crafted sculptural art furniture for ten years and received a BFA in printmaking from the University of New Mexico. Whichever medium I practiced and studied, I always returned to painting. Oil paint has been my primary medium for the last 30 years, and the smell of it still brings back memories of rainy afternoons in North Sebago, Maine.”
Born in Boston and raised in Maine and New York, Alan Paine Radebaugh left New England in 1972. He lived and worked throughout the western United States for five years. He restored a Victorian house in Colorado and designed and constructed interiors of two Oregon pubs, built an architectural model for the Natural History Museum in New Mexico, and sculpted clay miniatures for Archeological Museum of Andros, Greece. He had studios in Santa Barbara, California; Portland, Oregon; and Pueblo, Colorado before settling in New Mexico. He designed, drew the plans for, and built two of his studios, including the one in which he currently works in Albuquerque.
Although Radebaugh has studied photography, drawing, and printmaking, he is a self-taught painter who works primarily in oil. He has been a working artist his entire career, almost 45 years. His primary studio has been in New Mexico since 1979. He returns each year to work in Maine and has several times spent two to six weeks drawing and painting in Canada.
In 2002, he had a major exhibition spanning 20 years of creativity, Chasing Fragments: 1982 – 2002 at 516 Magnifico Artspace, Albuquerque, NM. The exhibition, curated by Cynthia Sanchez, PhD, included sculptural art furniture from the 1980’s, prints, photographs, drawings, and paintings. It centered on Radebaugh’s recurring theme of fragments. In her essay for the exhibition, Sanchez writes, “Radebaugh reminds us of the grandeur of a blade of grass, the shadow of a leaf, and because of it we know something about the field of grass, the tree.”
He spent two and a half years painting 36 canvasses for Mass: of Our World, exhibited at the University of New Mexico Art Museum Jonson Gallery in 2007. The Jonson Paintings hung side-by-side through three galleries, covering 13 walls. He wrote, performed, and recorded the sound track for this exhibition. Charles Ware PhD, then-curator of UNM Art Museum, and Douglas Kent Hall, photographer and poet, discuss this work in detail in separate, published essays. They describe the paintings as contemporary landscape, abstract, organic and the artist as a landscape painter, abstract expressionist, superb technician, skilled colorist.
Radebaugh received Albuquerque Arts Alliance Bravos Award for Excellence in Visual Arts for Mass: of Our World. Paintings from this exhibition are in the permanent collections of Albuquerque Museum; University of New Mexico Art Museum; State of New Mexico 1% for the Arts Collection; and several private collections.
In 2008 he began a new artistic project, Ghost of Sea. He had been driving and camping throughout the United States and Canada for many years, finding inspiration and subject matter. With this project, however, he focused his journeys on the Interior Plains of Canada and the Great Plains of the United States. He has followed rivers from headwaters to confluence to mouth, walked across grasslands, and climbed mountains to look out over vast prairies.
Radebaugh first exhibited paintings from this project in 2009 in a one-person exhibition, Grasses: Being. He showed more works off and on over the next few years. Then, working with gallery coordinator Jeanne Shoaff, he officially introduced Ghost of Sea at The Lincoln Center in Fort Collins, Colorado in January and February of 2013. That same year, curator Andrew Connors chose a piece for the Albuquerque Museum’s exhibition, Changing Perceptions of the Western Landscape, and curator Eric Wimmer invited him to exhibit Ghost of Sea at Nicolaysen Museum of Art in fall of 2014. Since 2009, Radebaugh has shown this work in 6 solo exhibitions as well as many group exhibitions.
Radebaugh has traveled from the Rockies to the Mississippi and from the Gulf of Mexico to northern Canada. One of the more memorable journeys was two weeks near the Arctic Ocean, 250 miles above the Arctic Circle in Inuvik, Northwest Territories. His plans are to continue this project, Ghost of Sea. He is currently painting images inspired by the tundra of Northwest Territories, and his next journey will be northern Canada in 2017.