statement / about

In my artistic exploration, I employ a formal but dynamic language of abstract painting to construct precise images loosely based on natural phenomena. I use bold, sweeping passages of color to breathe life into weighty mountains, ethereal clouds, serene lakes, and commanding moons, all pulsating with vibrant, textured surfaces that demand close contemplation.

The shift towards embracing landscapes in my work took root during my immersive experiences in the Turano Valley of central Italy back in 2017. This captivating locale, which I continue to visit, has become an ample reservoir of inspiration that consistently offers new revelations and understandings for how to construct an image.

Spending time in the presence of mountains and being awed by their mass, nuances of form, and exchanges with atmosphere, has led to the current imagery. This latest work is about carefully manipulating a few deceptively simple forms until they challenge pictorial space and push against and resist their confinement within the picture plane. I want for these images, though static and modest in size, to be as beautiful, expansive, and encompassing as a mountain.

Born 1977 in Wareham, MA.

In 1999 Riley received BFA in Painting from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design. In 2004 he received an MFA in Sculpture from the University of Pennsylvania.

His work has been shown in solo and group exhibitions throughout the Northeast including; Danese/Corey in New York City, TSA NY in Brooklyn, NY, Gallery 263 in Cambridge, MA, Lamont Gallery in Exeter, NH, Arthur Ross Gallery in Philadelphia, PA, The Arts Center of the Capital Region in Troy, NY, and several others.

He has received grants from the Joan Mitchell Foundation, The Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, and the Berkshire Taconic Foundation. Riley has been an artist in residence at the Joan Mitchell Center, Yaddo, and the Vermont Studio Center.

Riley currently lives and works in Washington DC and maintains a studio in Colle di Tora, in Italy's Turano Valley.