Richard Stout, a preeminent and beloved Texas artist has died. Born in Beaumont in 1934, Stout passed away at his home in Houston on Sunday. He was 85.
“Richard was a wonderful artist and friend of fifty years, and I’m going to miss him terribly,” says Betty Moody, owner and founder of Houston’s Moody Gallery, in a telephone conversation with Glasstire. “He was a very smart man, a consummate artist, and painter, and one of the best we’ve ever had. I know he’s been ill for a good while. The sad thing is now there’s no way we can gather to celebrate his life.”
According to Moody, Stout died peacefully in his sleep. She also talked about Stout’s time as a teacher at University of Houston, where he taught for 25 years and mentored countless artists, and how much he supported those artists.
Represented by Foltz Fine Art in Houston, Stout has of course been featured on Glasstire many times, including as the subject of a video profile in 2018. In a review of Stout’s exhibition A Sense of Home, Glasstire contributor Hannah Dean writes:
“In touring Stout’s memories of place, ‘home,’ specifically, it is impossible to untie the link between the warm and the empty in his renderings of doorways and chairs, delivered visually from a child’s perspective (both gleaned in the exhibition quotes and the low eye-line of the painting’s interiors. The lines on the doors or shelves only tilt upwards or are level, placing the viewer below them, especially evident in ‘When I Was Young;). There’s a lonesomeness in looking out through a window to the sea. Perhaps we are waiting on someone who won’t come home, or for another devastating storm, or for the gods themselves to descend and swallow us whole.”
Another friend, Randy Tibbits, the Coordinator of Houston Earlier Texas Art Group (HETAG), wrote in an email to Glasstire: “Richard’s death means that one of the greats of Houston art — and of art anywhere — is no longer with us, but his art, which was so fundamental in his own life, and is such a joy in ours, remains — art that is supremely beautiful and compelling, even through tears.”
Stout was a student of Kathleen Blakshear at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in the 1950s. “He was moved throughout his career by the landscape of the Gulf Coast and the landscape of family and other human connections, and the way both shape artists and others alike,” says Tibbits.
In 2004, Stout was the recipient of Art League Houston’s Texas Artist of the Year. “His life and presence left an indelible impact on the ALH community and on so many of us personally. He will be greatly missed,” a post on ALH’s Facebook page states.
“We are deeply saddened to announce that the Houston art world lost one of its finest yesterday,” a post on Foltz’s Facebook page states. “Always a gentleman and a hell of an artist, Stout helped to put Houston on the art world map starting in the 1950s, upon his return to Texas after attending the Art Institute of Chicago. It is hard to comprehend this loss right now amidst all the uncertainty in our world, but a formal celebration of his life and memory will follow in the coming weeks.”
Richard Stout is survived by his children Stefan and Claire Turner as well as their spouses Nesrin Stout and Sean Turner, his grandchildren Sean, Glenn Thomas and Mary Bess Turner. He is also survived by Emma Ann and Louisa Dilara Stout. The Houston Chronicle writes that the family “hopes to co-host a celebration of the artist’s life at Sarah Foltz Fine Art in the fall.”