Emily Rich, b. 1934, was raised in New York City been involved in the arts her entire life. She attended the High School of the Industrial Arts, and developed her skills and prepared for a career as a fashion illustrator. After spending several years in Colorado, where she began taking drawing and painting classes, she returned to New York, and the years following became a turning point in her development as an artist. She studied at the Art Students League, Parsons School of Design, the School of Visual Arts, and with a number of influential artists. During this period, she learned to tap into her painterly energy and push herself, developing her own style with a clarified intent, making increasingly abstract work with simplified shapes. Her work isinfluenced by the Abstract Expressionist Movement, mainly the work of Willem de Kooning, with whom she credits with making her realize she wanted to be an artist for the rest of her life.
Working in a variety of media, including oils, acrylics, watercolor and collage, Rich uses the language of abstraction in her paintings to explore the changing environment, from the destruction of the shorelines and beaches to the kinetic energy of a city that never sleeps. Rich adroitly integrates a palette of bold and subtle colors, applied as if engaging in an artist tango that is both passionate and deliberate. The resulting work engages the viewer in a visual dance replete with movement and energy.
Rich has exhibited in both solo and group shows, received awards for her work, and has been included in a number of publications.