“And when so much of the imagery has the feel of a waking nightmare or a bad acid trip, it may be best not to inquire too closely. We live in a period that defies easy explanations, when the barbarians are always at the gate. There’s no good reason to expect art to reflect an ordered and sensible universe when we’re all overwhelmed by mayhem and fear. Wright fits in neatly with the temper of the times.”

–Ann Landi, April 19 from a Vasari21.com Profile article: READ FULL ARTICLE

IRA WRIGHT: "Self-Portrait with Pen" 2018. Ink on paper (sketchbook).
For me, Art is solitary, personal. Lots of outside things stopped me from doing it. Boulders got in the way. Some I put in my path and others…they just rolled down the mountain called Life. I’m 90 now. No time to waste.
I’ve lived through every kind of Art Movement there is from Abstract Expressionism, Action Painting, Pop Art, Op Art, Fluxus, Color Field, Neo-Expressionism, Photorealisim, and Conceptual Art. I’m sure I left out a few. So many astonishing ideas – some good, some not – but I’ve quietly watched them all from afar while always thinking about painting. 
I learned a lot at Cranbrook – welding, carpentry but not painting. I’m told that my work is “Art Brut.” Well, actually that’s not a new term…they call it “Outsider Art” now but Jean Dubuffet originally came up with that expression. It’s French for raw art or naive art made outside the academic tradition of fine art. Yep. Rough, raw, ragged. That pretty much describes me even though I’ve taught the academic tradition of fine art. I let things tumble out and then I beat them up until it feels right. I come from the heart school.
I was born during the Great Depression in a small Michigan city.

–1950’s: Bachelor of Science in Design, University of Michigan

–1950’s: Cranbrook, MFA Design, Michigan

–early 1960’s: built furniture prototypes for Ken Issacs, architect & designer

–early 1960’s: Welding Assistant for Maurice Prost, sculptor

–1950’s-60’s: Product designer at Litton Industries, East Orange, NJ

–1960’s-70’s: Graphics Designer & Art Director at Sequoia Press, Kalamazoo, MI

–1970’s: Foundry worker, Richland Art Foundry

–1970’s-80’s: Teacher, Studio & Art History: Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo College, and Gilmore Art Center

–1980’s: Gallery Director, Six17 Gallery, Kalamazoo, MI

–1999: Moved to Galisteo then Santa Fe

–2021: “Lovesick” Exhibition, Bareiss Gallery, Taos, New Mexico

–2023: “Take Two Tylenol” Exhibition, The Wright Contemporary, Taos, New Mexico

So now here I am, full-time in the studio. The faces of heroes and villains come and go along with my memory of them…of those around me, of myself…so they fade, return, don’t return or change and morph like my work. However you label what I do, in the end, it’s all about quenching my desires. I’m lovesick for art.

the studio

Shopping Basket