TRIUMPHANT & JOYFUL: THE PAINTINGS OF RON RICE
Archive of work by an Outsider New York artist who triumphed over Paranoid Schizophrenia


Archive of 80 acrylic paintings by New York artist Ron Rice (1953-2013).

Mr. Rice suffered from Paranoid Schizophrenia and was either homeless or living in institutional housing much of his adult life. On weekend visits to his parents' apartment in Manhattan he would sometimes paint, but his condition caused him to abandon his painting at times and he was prone to destroying his own work.

When a new drug regimen enabled him to work in the late 1990s, he entered a rather prolific period that lasted about 3 years, producing approximately 200 works.

He participated in a number of exhibitions during this period, including Ferris House (1996), Studio 64 (1996), National Artists for Mental Health (1998), and Fountain Gallery (2002).


Mr. Rice's work is stylistically eclectic and he is a bold colorist. The emotive range of his imagery is broad. Some of it is peaceful and contemplative, others are bold and shocking and really get under your skin.

He wrote the following concerning his life and work:

"Diagnosed schizophrenic, days in the hospital, clouds menacing and trees talking. Long walks to nowhere. Voices echo the demons in my head, but they couldn't dissuade me from painting. I first painted in high school then minored in art in college. Then my life changed forever. Hospitals, and drugs that didn't help. Days being homeless living out of garbage cans and sleeping on park benches. When I found the strength to work, I would falter time and again. But I had my painting, I had my writing, my artistic spirit seemed to survive. Some of my paintings are shocking, some idyllic, some I am proud to say triumphant and joyful expression despite mental illness."


Nearly all of the paintings are acrylic on canvas with simple framing, and most are 30" x 24" though there are some smaller and larger pieces.

The titles are his, taken from his inscriptions on the back. Some have multiple titles. It is suspected that the changing titles correspond to his practice of returning to some paintings and overpainting them the textures of original painting can be seen on such paintings.