BIO/ VITA (Annotated)

Rico Eastman

1985            Master of Fine Arts, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ

1974            Bachelor of Fine Arts, Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, RI


2011             SxS, Aarhus, Denmark, Site Installation, Sponsor: Royal Danish Court

2010            Professional Member ISC, Hamilton, NJ

2008-10       Associate Member, Glasgow Sculpture Studios, Glasgow, Scotland, UK

2006            Acting Head, Sculpture Program, CalStateFullerton, Fullerton, CA

2005            Visiting Artist, Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, Deer Isle, ME

2001             Acting Head, Metalsmithing, Cranbrook Academy, Bloomfield Hills,MI

2000            Visiting Artist, Santa Fe Art Institute, Santa Fe, NM

1999             Visiting Artist, The Deep Creek School, Telluride, CO

1998             Visiting Artist, Northern Michigan University, Marquette, MI

1996             Demonstrator, International Sculpture Conference, Providence, RI


2011              Purchase Award, Acclaimed Artist Series, Santa Fe, NM

2006            Acequia Madre Pedestrian Crossing Design Award, Santa Fe, NM

2002            Acclaimed Artist Series Purchase Award, Office of Cultural Affairs, NM

1998             Best of Show, Santa Fe Sculpture Project, College of Santa Fe, NM

1993              Judges’ Award, “Table, Lamp+Chair”, World Trade Center, Portland, OR

1992              Honorable Mention, Fujisankei International Center, Hakone, Japan

1984             Graduate Fellowship, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ


                    Kvadrat, Ebeltoft, Denmark

                    The State of New Mexico, Office of Cultural Affairs, Santa Fe, NM

                    Grinnel College, Grinnell, IA

                    Mitchell Foundaton/ Cedarhurst Museum, Mt. Vernon, IL

                    Garrett Ltd., Waterford, Ireland, UK

                    Tulsa Community Foundation, Tulsa, OK

                    University of Texas, El Paso, TX

                    Waly Corporation, Hong Kong, China

                    Hyatt International, Beaver Creek, CO


2012              SxS 2012, Bondi, Australia

2011              SxS 2011, Aarhus, Denmark

2009            Solo Exhibition, Herberger Institute, Night Gallery, Tempe, AZ

2007            Solo Exhibition, KN Gallery, John Hancock Bldg.,Chicago, IL

                    Solo Exhibition, Riva Yares Gallery, Santa Fe, NM

2002            Dave Hickey Selects, Pier Walk 2002, Navy Pier, Chicago, IL

2001             Pier Walk 2001, Navy Pier, Chicago, IL

                     Ancient Futures, Nova Scotia Centre Craft+Design, Halifax, NS, CA

2000            Pier Walk 2000, Navy Pier, Chicago, IL

                     Cedarhurst Museum, Mt. Vernon, IL

1999             “RE: Structure”, Grinnell College Art Gallery, Grinnell, IA

1998             “Sculpturescape”. Colorado State University, Ft. Colins, CO

                      Pier Walk 1998, Navy Pier, Chicago, IL

                      Santa Fe Sculpture Project, College of Santa Fe, Santa Fe, NM

1997              Pier Walk 1997, Navy Pier, Chicago, IL


2007              ARTNews - September, 2007







                Photo: Dominique Vorillon



Contemporary Southwest artist Rico Eastman creates large-scale, steel sculptures that reflect his interest in abstraction, rhythmic pattern, space and tension. His sculptures are comprised of a series of interlocking planes that curve and slip into one another, like individual puzzle pieces, to former a larger abstract construction. With massive sheets of rolled Corten steel, Eastman manipulates gravity and metal alike into large-scale constructs of soaring tension and exquisite beauty. The massive Corten steel pieces are held in place by gravity and weight tensions on the points of transition. Although the individual steel planes are large and heavy (each weighing several hundred pounds), their interlocking construction and thin forms appear to delicately balance on only a few points and edges to suggest something light and transitory.

Eastman states, “This ephemeral quality can be suggested by interlocking physical assemblies, held together by natural forces of tension, friction and gravity. Appearing spontaneous, the implied dichotomy of transitory permanence is intensified through the use of enduring materials. In a tangible manner, this kind of sculptural description refers to resting points along a journey; neither destination nor starting point, but a particular state of indeterminacy, where beginning and ending have equal influence on the present moment.”

In Eastman’s work, individual planes of steel or bronze intersect to form larger forms and shapes that interact with and energize their surrounding space and environment. Eastman’s large outdoor sculpture installations punctuate their sites with a vitality that invites human interaction, and their dynamic compositions shift and transform as the viewer’s vantage point changes when they walk around it. His latest work for his Labyrinth Study series explores the idea of a network of elements and intricate passageways that serve as pathway and define a transformative experience—but in a sculptural context. This notion of a labyrinth is best manifest in Eastman’s Hancock Plaza installation that will combine two large-scale Corten sculptures, Bones and Clone, composed of individual elements that alter, define and manipulate space and the viewer/object relationship to allow passage and multiple views that create a perceptual transformative experience.

Adding to his singular aesthetic is the rugged beauty of Eastman’s work. He employs materials whose colors change over time as their surfaces are exposed to air and other natural elements. Corten steel weathers and forms a beautiful rust-like appearance when exposed to the outdoor elements, and his smaller bronze tabletop sculptures feature a patina of subtle gray, deep brown and olive green colors marked by bold bursts of rust tones where individual planes intersect and connect.

Rico Eastman’s presence in Chicago has been noteworthy as his sculptures have been included in installations at Chicago’s Navy Pier from 1997–2002. “Many Chicagoans are already familiar with Rico’s art as they have enjoyed his individual sculptures installed at Navy Pier during past summers. Until now, our Chicago audience has not had the opportunity to experience the range of Rico’s sculpture in a larger gallery exhibition. We are thrilled to feature his work in a solo exhibition and to advance his art in Chicago, and the grand installation on the Hancock Plaza will serve as a wonderful attraction and prologue to our gallery show,” states KN Gallery Director Lara Niemira.

Rico Eastman is rapidly establishing himself within the ranks of the great steel sculptors of this century. With this new body of work, Labyrinth Study, Eastman stands unquestionably alongside the contemporary masters of the genre and yet clearly transcends any comparisons by demonstrating an absolutely unique and unparalleled ability and aesthetic.

Rico Eastman (b. 1952) received his Bachelor of Fine arts degree from the Rhode Island School of Design and his Master of Fine Arts degree from Arizona State University. His work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, and he has been a visiting artist at many colleges, universities and art centers across the United States. Eastman’s work is held in several national and international private and public collections including the Albuquerque Convention Center, Albuquerque, NM; Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ; California State University, Fullerton, CA; College of Charleston, Charleston, SC; Garrett Ltd., Waterford, Ireland; Grinnell College, Grinnell, IA; Hyatt International, Beaver Creek, CO; Northern Michigan University, Marquette, MI; The State of New Mexico; University of Texas, El Paso, TX; Waly Corporation, Hong Kong, China; and Western State College, Gunnison, CO. Eastman has current and past public outdoor installations at venues across the United States including: Anderson Ranch Arts Center, Snowmass Village, CO; DeCordova Museum and Sculpture Park, Lincoln, MA; the Mitchell Museum and Cedarhurst Sculpture Park, Mt. Vernon, IL; the City of Northlake, Northlake, IL; the Museum of Fine Arts, Santa Fe, NM; and The Nelson Fine Arts Center, Tempe, AZ. Eastman lives and works in the Southwest.

KN Gallery proudly presents Rico Eastman | Labyrinth Study, an exhibition of large-scale Corten steel sculptures and smaller bronze maquettes. KN Gallery’s show marks Eastman’s first solo exhibition at a Chicago gallery. Eastman’s gallery exhibition will also be accompanied by an outdoor installation of two monumental Corten steel sculptures on the ground level plaza of Chicago’s historic John Hancock Center (June 25 through October 31). Rico Eastman | Labyrinth STudy at KN Gallery runs July 19 through August 24. The opening reception is Thursday, July 19, 5:30–7:30 pm. The public celebration will begin at 5:30 pm on the Hancock plaza with brief remarks by KN Gallery and Rico Eastman to inaugurate Bones and Clone. The artist will be present. The public is welcome to attend.