Raymond Parker American, 1922-1990


Raymond Parker was born in Beresford, South Dakota, and studied painting at the University of Iowa. He received his Master of Fine Arts degree in 1948. Parker began his professional career as an art instructor at the University of Minnesota and in 1955 began his tenure at Hunter College in New York, where he remained until his retirement. Parker’s distinctive style emerged in 1958 when he exhibited a group of outsized works that measured six feet square with surfaces filled with large color shapes floated against neutral backgrounds. Color dominates Parker’s works, and it is used both as form and for expression.


Throughout his career Parker used color as a point of departure and as his style developed his compositional forms became increasingly geometric. Parker gave the massive colored shapes that dominate his compositions rough, unfinished outlines. The predominant style of Parker’s paintings is seemingly improvisational in his layering and clustering of forms in varied tones, relationships, and sizes. During the 1970s, Parker introduced lines into his canvases, intermixing linear elements with irregular shapes to create simple, dramatic, highly colored compositions. Over the course of his career, Parker’s works were shown in numerous solo and group exhibitions across the United States.

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