Richard is an Auckland-based artist, of modern abstract paintings, using oil on paper or on canvas. Adams’ new work has a richness informed not only by his music, but also his travels such as to Dubai, where he was inspired by the textures, aged surfaces, and dramatic colours particularly of the dhows (boats) and how their history was exposed by a scratch or a rubbed surface, revealing the hues of the boat’s earlier life.
He sees himself as a guide rather than master of the brush, and allows the painting to evolve as he works. Adams’ recent works seem to travel towards the light, and consciously explore the idea of early voyagers guided only by the sun and stars, travelling barely charted waters. Often there is a deep ‘bass’ note in his paintings to balance the lighter elements, and lately he has drawn inspiration from the intense colours of the New Zealand landscape. His canvasses tend to convey a musical parallel, while his oils have a subtle pared-back expression.
Richard is one of New Zealand’s best known jazz musicians and will be performing at Art in a Garden this year, with Peter Koopman and John Quigley, as the Nairobi Trio.