USM Art Galleries Gorham and Portland

1991 — Hitchhiking, Richard Lethem






Richard Lethem
University of Southern Maine
*Please note this piece is no longer on view and has been returned to the artist

Richard Lethem (1991)

Richard Lethem created this painting and sculpture, collectively entitled Hitchhiking in the Glove of Night specifically for the Gorham student center when he was a visiting artist-in-residence at the USM Art Department in 1991.

An active painter and draftsman over the past 40 years, Lethem has shown nationally in numerous museum shows and has had 15 solo gallery exhibitions.

In 1984, Lethem began a body of work that graphically explored the nature of male violence in society and how it impacts the individual and his relationship to community.  Homelessness and the need for sanctuary were the inspiration for the sculpture in the shape of both a glove and bench.  During the Gulf War, when working on the painting, Lethem moved from concerns with institutional violence to the overt horrors of war such as the mutilation of individuals.  Whether in a sanitized modern war or in the hidden despair of societal injustice, the individual suffers in Lethem's metaphorical images.

His recent work since the USM residency has been aided by grants from the Millay colony for the Arts in 1992, the Hillwood Museum, the Ludwig Vogelstein Foundation and the Richard Florsheim Art Fund.

In 1994, Lethem moved to Berwick, Maine, where he currently lives and works.  He shows at Aucocisco Gallery in Portland.