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Andrew Raftery

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Andrew Raftery (b. 1962) is an artist specializing in both fictional and autobiographical narrative scenes of contemporary American life. Known for his paintings, burin engravings and drawings, Raftery has developed a particular interest in prints for their ubiquitous role in our world: on wallpaper, clothing and functional objects. The choice to work in engraving provides Raftery with the welcome challenge of using a seemingly antiquated technique to treat contemporary subject matter. Raftery’s precision—not only as a master engraver, but also as an observer of contemporary culture—allows him to pay homage to the history of printmaking while also exploring his current sociocultural climate. Raftery’s practice is heavily research based as a curator and collector, and it is both personal and objective, a constant self-reflection informed by historical research on the democratization of mediums.

In 2009 Raftery contributed to the RISD Museum exhibition catalog, The Brilliant Line: Following the Early Modern Engraver, 1480-1650, alongside Emily J. Peters and Evelyn Lincoln of Brown University. In 2004 Raftery’s work was featured in Jonathan Weinberg’s book, Male Desire: The Homoerotic in American Art.

Raftery has earned many awards, including the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship in 2008, the John R. Frazier Award for excellence in teaching from RISD in 2007, the Boston University Distinguished Alumni Award in 2007, the American Academy of Arts and Letters Purchase Award in 2006, the Louis Comfort Tiffany Award in 2003 and the Fritz Eichenberg Fellowship in Printmaking, Narrative Engraving Project from the Rhode Island State Council for the Arts in 2001. He was elected to membership of the National Academy in New York City in 2009.

Raftery received his BFA from Boston University in 1984 and his MFA from Yale University in 1988. He has been an Associate Professor in the painting and printmaking departments at the Rhode Island School of Design since 1991. His work can be found in the collections of Addison Gallery of American Art, Andover; Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore; British Museum, London; Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland; Davis Museum at Wellesley College, Wellesley; Davison Art Center at Wesleyan University, Middletown; Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University, Cambridge; Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art at Cornell University, Ithaca; The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens, San Marino; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design, Providence; Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City; Spencer Museum of Art at University of Kansas, Lawrence; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; and Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven. Raftery lives and works in Providence, RI.
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