private client

Richard Hull: One Artist, Three Client Projects


This week, Chicago Gallery News featured Richard Hull on the cover of their Fall 2019 magazine. Since graduating from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago with an MFA in 1979, Hull has maintained close connections with the Chicago art community. Inspired by the Chicago Imagists and the Hairy Who, Hull has spent 40 years living and working in the city, producing artwork that is now in prominent national collections including the Art Institute of Chicago, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago and the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, D.C. For the last 15 years, Hull has been a professor of painting at SAIC, mentoring a new generation of artists. 

Richard Hull is known for his expressive, color-soaked, and almost-abstract figural paintings that he calls “stolen portraits.” He first started creating these pieces after playing a game of exquisite corpse with a famed composer and an illustrator.

Richard Hull is often a client favorite because of his dense and varied use of color. Speaking to Chicago Gallery News, Hull explained the logic of his colorful paintings: “My only color theory is you decide on a color to start with, and you find a color that makes that better. It’s about the relationship to the color within the piece. If I add violet next to a red, does that make the red better or does it distract from or make the red look bad? It’s color, next color. Color, next color. And I’m always kind of surprised by how colorful my things are.” 

In many ways, Hull’s color theory is like our work as art consultants. We often have a starting place–the furniture, the finishes, the wall colors, the existing art collection of a client–and we seek out artwork that makes it even better. Over time, this is how great individual pieces come together into a stunning collection, each piece amplifying the others. 

We recently completed three projects involving Richard Hull’s artwork:

Rotating Exhibition

Over the last year, we have featured several pieces by Hull in a rotating exhibition that we curate in a corporate lobby. Temporary exhibitions allow us to showcase work that we think is exciting and special. Working with artists to collaborate on exhibitions allows us to develop a deep understanding of an artist’s work and ultimately helping us find the best piece for our clients. 

Private Client

One of our private clients recently added a piece by Hull to their collection. We assisted the clients in finding the perfect artwork for their home, framed the piece, and installed it in their living space. The clients chose a Richard Hull crayon and ink drawing. Works of art on paper are often more affordable alternatives to large paintings and can be customized with a bespoke frame to match home furnishings and personal taste. For this piece, we worked with the client to choose a fused-metal corner frame. The bronze-colored burnished aluminum frame subtly complements the rust tones in the drawing.

Corporate Acquisition

We also recently assisted a law firm in acquiring a large Richard Hull painting on canvas. The scale and color of the painting are perfect for the office lobby, welcoming visitors and employees alike into the space. By supporting a contemporary local artist, the law firm cultivates a connection with Chicago’s cultural community and supports art of the present moment.

We love seeing one of our favorite artists getting well-deserved recognition for their contributions to Chicago’s art history. You can see more of Richard Hull’s work in a solo booth at EXPO Chicago this September presented by Hull’s gallery, Western Exhibitions.

. . .

Meeting With New Private Clients

Recently we met with some prospective art collectors in the Lincoln Park neighborhood of Chicago. In addition to our role as a corporate art advisory, we love working with private collectors and helping them explore the broad world of fine art. They contacted us through a mutual design acquaintance and expressed interest in beginning to explore fine art collecting. Their home, already made beautiful with interior design, family photographs, and sentimental art pieces, had several locations that were ideal for empowering, new fine artwork. As they were new to working with an art consulting firm, we took time to give an initial consultation to explain the process.

Complimentary Initial Consultation

As art consultants, it is our job to help navigate a sometimes-overwhelming art world. Taking a client’s interests, existing space, and budget into account, we find the perfect balance to recommend artwork which would elevate any space. Typically we will do one complimentary telephone meeting with any new client; if there is expressed interest in moving forward, we will usually include an additional site visit as part of this exploration.

Getting Better Acquainted

Our in-person meetings give an opportunity to get to know each other. Personality and interests can help us navigate art selections down the road. We will often ask a lot of questions about family life, hobbies, favorite hues, as well as learning about a person’s dislikes. As we peruse a space we take cues from our environment, taking notes on color palette, furniture, textures, and prized collections (books, ceramics, figurines, etc.) We will also take this time to measure potential art locations, architectural elements, windows, and ceiling height in the event blueprints are not available down the road. With our host’s permission, we will also take some photographs for future reference.

Tastemaker Selection Process

Another important part of our visit is conducting what we call a “tastemaker.” This process involves showing a wide range of artworks to the client in digital form to get both positive and negative feedback. It is critical that our client feels comfortable in giving their opinions, so we always assure them that we do not take these feelings personally. Our goal is to help acquire the best possible artwork to suit their tastes and to use our professional training, discretion, and background to get there. Usually our clients enjoy this part of the process, and even those who have zero art background leave with a better sense of their visual interests.

Proposal and Deliverables

After we return to the office, notes in hand, we meet to discuss a best plan of action for each individual project. With the assistance our registrar, a formal estimate is put together detailing what we believe are the best steps for moving forward. Each proposal is customized to the circumstances and always includes a straightforward account of our services to be rendered and a clear financial expectation.  We pride ourselves on a transparent process and are happy to field any questions at this or any other stage. Once a proposal is agreed upon we are ready to move forward in finding the best artwork to compliment and characterize your unique tastes.

. . .