My paintings are a spontaneous occurrence, born out of the experience, but maturing reflexively in the process of creation. My technique is controlled improvisation. Gravity is my medium. Images are caught with intent.”
– Bette Ridgeway
Celebrated for her large-scale, luminous poured canvases, Bette Ridgeway has devoted five decades to developing her unusual pouring technique; garnering international recognition in the process. Born in Tupper Lake, a small village in the Adirondack Mountains in New York, she has traveled the globe; studying, painting, teaching and exhibiting her work, while simultaneously immersing herself in the customs and colors of the diverse cultures of Africa, Australia, Europe, Asia, Mexico and South America. She studied and taught painting during lengthy stays in Antananarivo, Madagascar; Canberra, Australia; and Santiago, Chile.
Her mentor Paul Jenkins (1923-2012), the acclaimed Abstract Expressionist, encouraged the artist in 1979 to work large, eliminate subject matter, and focus on color, space and time. Ridgeway followed his advice and has developed and refined her signature technique. “Color is my subject and my muse,” says Ridgeway. Located in Santa Fe, NM since the mid-1990s, Ridgeway is represented by numerous galleries and has been shown in over 80 gallery and museum exhibitions, internationally. Her work is included in many public and private collections.
Her recent awards include the 2023 Leonardo DaVinci International Prize, the Caravaggio International Prize 2022, the Michelangelo International Prize 2021, and “Top 60 Contemporary Masters 2017” by Art Tour International Magazine In addition, she won the Oxford University Alumni Prize at the “Art of the Mind” exhibition at the Chianciano Art Museum in Tuscany. She has been published in noteworthy art journals and catalogues such as Artfolio 2022, the Monk Magazine, UK, Escape Art Review Special Edition, London, UK; Women’s Essence: a concomitant juried exhibition at the 58th Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy; the inaugural edition of the London Art Biennale 2013, London, England, United Kingdom.
Today we can consider the artist Bette Ridgeway as the one and only true heir of Paul Jenkins: her mentor and teacher. Ridgeway’s painting is dynamic and rhythmic; like the most “enlightened” of contemporary composers, Bette traces on canvas what is her ideal score. There is a tacit harmony of color and movement which, through the elegance of the castings, leads the viewer to question the true meaning of art.”
– Dr. Salvatore Russo, art critic, publisher and curator in Rome, Italy
(excerpt from a critical review in 2022)