Rago/Wright is pleased to present our first online selling exhibition of works by Richard Hambleton.

Comprised of fifteen works, this exhibition includes iconic Shadow Paintings and Marlboro Man works for which the artist is best known alongside colorful landscapes on metallic backgrounds from his Beautiful Paintings series.

Acquired directly from the artist, the selection traces the artist’s creative and influential output from the 1980s until his death in 2017.


Richard Hambleton Twilight

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Richard Hambleton  Yellow Shadow Head

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These works come from the collection of Robert Murphy. Robert Murphy, first met Hambleton in 1989 and the two established a friendship quickly. From aiding the artist with housing to preparing canvases, procuring art materials and just hanging out, Murphy and Hambleton remained close until the artist’s death in 2017. 

Richard Hambleton and Robert Murphy at Robert Murphy's 49th Street studio, 1999.

Richard Hambleton Shadow Head

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Richard Hambleton Arturo Vega Cat

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Richard Hambleton Landscape

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Richard Hambleton Portrait of Bob and Richard

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Richard Hambleton Jumping Cat

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Richard Hambleton Bloodscape

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Richard Hambleton Blood Block

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Richard Hambleton Bloodscape

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Richard Hambleton

1952 – 2017

Canadian artist Richard Hambleton was part of the same downtown scene as Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring—outselling both artists at the height of his career— yet his star was almost forgotten. As a young artist in Canada, he gained notoriety for his life-size chalk outlines that mimicked murder scenes and after moving to New York, his ominous painted figures gave him the nickname Shadowman. Known as the godfather of street-art, Hambleton was truly doing it first, and he paved the way for artist like Basquiat, Haring and Banksy to enjoy massive commercial success. 


Hambleton, on the other hand, remained out of the public eye for most of his career and what monetary wealth he achieved was short-lived. Drug addiction, death, and tumult propelled him into a life of poverty, yet Hambleton continued to paint, trading works for food, shelter, and art supplies. In 2009, he was rediscovered. A sudden burst of notoriety and a slew of sales brought Hambleton to the forefront of the art world once again, but the moment did not last. Increasingly frail from years of drug use and untreated cancer, Hambleton died in 2017. Three years prior, in a moment of morbid self-reflection, he said “At least Basquiat, you know, died. I was alive when I died, you know. That’s the problem.”

I painted the town black.

Richard Hambleton

Richard Hambleton
Shadow & Grit

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RICHARD HAMBLETON, Yellow Shadow Head | ragoarts.com

Richard Hambleton

Yellow Shadow Head

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RICHARD HAMBLETON, Gang of Four | ragoarts.com

Richard Hambleton

Gang of Four

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RICHARD HAMBLETON, Twilight | ragoarts.com

Richard Hambleton

Twilight

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RICHARD HAMBLETON, Shadow Head | ragoarts.com

Richard Hambleton

Shadow Head

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RICHARD HAMBLETON, Arturo Vega Cat | ragoarts.com

Richard Hambleton

Arturo Vega Cat

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RICHARD HAMBLETON, Boxers (diptych) | ragoarts.com

Richard Hambleton

Boxers (diptych)

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RICHARD HAMBLETON, Landscape | ragoarts.com

Richard Hambleton

Landscape

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RICHARD HAMBLETON, Portrait of Bob and Richard | ragoarts.com

Richard Hambleton

Portrait of Bob and Richard

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RICHARD HAMBLETON, Jumping Cat with Heart | ragoarts.com

Richard Hambleton

Jumping Cat with Heart

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RICHARD HAMBLETON, Bloodscape | ragoarts.com

Richard Hambleton

Bloodscape

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RICHARD HAMBLETON, Bloodscape | ragoarts.com

Richard Hambleton

Bloodscape