August 29, 2012
Steven Richter, photographer and long-time Aspen local, died in his sleep on the night of Aug. 15 at his home in New York after a brief illness. His thoughtful, quiet presence and ironic sense of humor will be missed. He was 74.
Steven was born in the Bronx, N.Y. on May 17, 1938. His parents were Hyman and Louise Richter. After graduating from the Cooper Union Art School he pursued a successful career in typography and graphic design. He taught at the School of Visual Arts for two years, worked at the Museum of Modern Art and became a partner in the Richard Hess Design Studio, where he won numerous awards from the Art Director’s Club. Then, in the late sixties, he discovered Aspen, Colo.
After a couple of years of ski bumming and fighting fires in Alaska, Steven settled in, working steadily as a carpenter, cabinet maker, contractor and renovator of Victorian houses. During visits to New York he developed a unique, gently sardonic style of “street” photography that led to his first show at the Anderson Ranch. In 1986 he began work at the Aspen Art Museum – three years of work as an exhibition installer and graphic designer led to three more years as creative director.
In 1992 Richter moved to New York as a professional photographer. For the past two decades, he spent months in Vietnam, China, France, Morocco, Turkey, Italy, India and Cambodia, exploring cities and learning the rhythms of the street, searching for a telling gesture and the perfect light.
In reviewing his show Detours (Laumont Editions Gallery), New York Times art critic Grace Glueck celebrated the “cosmopolitan mix” and “arresting images,” including a “snowy day in Venice where the city takes on the quality of a Japanese print.”
Steven’s work has appeared in many magazines, in public spaces and galleries in New York and can be seen on the Laumont Gallery website (www.laumont.com) or on (www.tnsatiable-critic.com). In Aspen he had shows at the David Floria Gallery, the Aspen Art Museum, the Prince of Peace chapel and, in 2004, a retrospective exhibit at the Aspen Institute. When asked to choose his favorite place in all his travels, Steven replied “the next place.”
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Steven leaves behind his beloved companion, critic and novelist Gael Greene, with whom he traveled as the Road Food Warrior of Insatiable Critic.com. He also leaves his son Nico Ruderman, daughter-in-law Anne, sister Donna Gnall and her children Abigail and Peter, and a cousin, Mitch Weinstein.
A memorial gathering of friends is planned for this fall in Aspen. Meanwhile, memorial contributions can be made to City Meals on Wheels at Citymeals.org.