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In Profile

by Sarah Schmerler

Three months before Chelsea dealer Yancey Richardson opened her summer group show, Glitz & Grime: Photographs of Times Square (featuring works by 22 artists), David Hilliard, one of Richardson’s longtime stable artists, was about to come to New York to make new work for the show. He’d be coming in from Boston, along with lots of equipment and an assistant—only the weather report for the spring day he’d scheduled wasn’t cooperating. “Photography is all about light,” says Richardson, “and David was ambivalent about whether to chance it, but sometimes one of the things I have to do for my artists is push them a little. I said, ‘If the clouds clear, you’ll be making work, and if they don’t, so what? It’s taken a day out of your life.’ For me, it’s about participating—it’s about giving it your all.”

As a dealer, Richardson is enthusiastic, artist- and client-centered, and peripatetic: she traveled to Amsterdam for an overnight stay to attend gallery artist Hellen van Meene’s opening at the Huis Marseille; she stood with Esko Mannikko when he won the Deutsche Börse Prize in London. And though she comes to dealing photographs by way of the seemingly staid discipline of art history, Richardson was anything but sedentary in its pursuit. Born in Marietta, Georgia, and raised in Charleston, South Carolina, Richardson first got interested in art history in high school. She received her BA in art history at Southern Methodist University in Dallas and had completed the coursework (sans 

thesis) for her master’s degree when a fateful school trip to New York convinced her to interrupt her MFA to enroll in the Whitney Independent Study Program.

“I used to say I had wheels on my feet as a kid,” says Richardson, “I was relatively fearless about moving to a new city and looking for opportunities.” By the time Richardson was 21, she had already curated impressive shows in the Whitney ISP (with photographs loaned from the likes of Sam Wagstaff and New York’s Museum of Modern Art); before she was 23, she had lived in Europe and then worked at an art gallery in Palm Beach, Florida, selling work by such artists as Louise Nevelson and Milton Avery. Soon thereafter she returned to New York and cemented her commitment to photography. In 1982 Richardson became a private photography dealer in San Francisco. “It was common then to put some prints in a portfolio box and go to Chicago, to LA, to ferret out collectors. I met a lot of people I do business with today at that time. I’ve known them now almost 25 years.”

Richardson finished off that MA thesis before coming back to New York and setting up shop as a private dealer. From 1985 until 1995, she built up her collector base handling vintage works, but she has increasingly represented more contemporary artists as well. She expanded to a public gallery space at 560 Broadway in 1995; and in 2000, she moved her gallery to 535 West 22nd Street in Chelsea. Throughout her career, Richardson has been well regarded for showing artists with strong presences in Europe who deserve serious consideration in the U.S. (Bertien van Manen and Olivo Barbieri); well-deserving mid-career artists (Mitch Epstein and Kenneth Josephson); as well as fresh faces in the medium (Lisa Kereszi and Alex Prager). “When I take on an artist, I want to see more than their thesis project, more than hot work that fits the zeitgeist,” she says. “I’m in this for the long term, looking for good, solid work that they’ll make over the length of their lifelong career. That,” Richardson says, somewhat uncharacteristically, “is when I move slowly.” 





July - August 2015
Scheinbaum & Russek Gallery

May - June 2015
Crista Dix

March - April 2015
Esa Epstein

January - February 2015
Joseph Bellows


November - December 2014
Miyako Yoshinaga

September - October 2014
Terry Etherton

July - August 2014
Corinne Tapia

May - June 2014
Laurence Miller

March - April 2014
Rachel Smith

January - February 2014
Peter Fetterman


November - December 2013
Margy Dudley

September - October 2013
Howard Greenberg

July - August 2013
Keith de Lellis

May - June 2013
Paul Kopeikin

March - April 2013
L. Parker Stephenson

January - February 2013
Scott Nichols


November - December 2012
Martin Weinstein

September - October 2012
Steven Kasher

July - August 2012
Joseph Carroll

May - June 2012
Robert Anderson

March - April 2012
Andrea Meislin

January - February 2012
Etheleen Staley and Takouhy (“Taki”) Wise


November - December 2011
Bryce Wolkowitz

September - October 2011
Julie Saul

July - August 2011
Mary Virginia Swanson

May - June 2011
Gus Kayafas

March - April 2011
Peter MacGill

January - February 2011
David Moore


November - December 2010
Bonni Benrubi

September - October 2010
Rick Wester

July - August 2010
Jay and Rose Deutsch

May - June 2010
Robert Mann

March - April 2010
Catherine Edelman

January - February 2010
Pamela Schoenberg


January - February 2009
Karen Jenkins-Johnson

March - April 2009
Deborah Bell

May - June 2009
Jeffrey Fraenkel

July - August 2009
Mark Pinsukanjana, Bryan Yedinak

September - October 2009
Yancey Richardson

November - December 2009
Hans P. Kraus, Jr.


March - April 2008
Nailya Alexander

May - June 2008
Stephen Bulger

July - August 2008
Sidney Monroe

September - October 2008
Amy Miller

November - December 2008
Sasha Wolf


November - December 2007
Bruce Silverstein

September - October 2007
Candace Dwan

July - August 2007
Ariel Shanberg

March - April 2007
Ellen Harris

January - February 2007
Paul Amador


January - February 2006
Martin McNamara

March - April 2006
Michael Foley

May - June 2006
Dan Cooney

July - August 2006
Wilson Scanlan

September - October 2006
Daniel Power

November - December 2006
Sharon Tanenbaum


January - February 2005
Tom Gitterman

March - April 2005
Yossi Milo

May - June 2005
Arlette Kayafas

September - October 2005
Brian Clamp

November - December 2005
Sarah Hasted


September - October 2004
Ariel Meyerowitz

November - December 2004
Anna Walker Skillman