The Atelier Studio Program of Fine Art

Richard F. Lack Catalogue RaisonnÉ

We are delighted to announce that in 2015 Afton Press plans to publish a splendid new volume, the Richard F. Lack: Catalogue Raisonné, Volume I, created to its exceptionally high standards of scholarship, literary value, design, and production. (The term catalogue raisonné is French for formal catalogue. The purpose of a formal catalogue is to document every aspect of the life's work of a major artist: from their first drawings and paintings, beginning in childhood, to the last before they passed away.) The author is Gary Christensen who has been at work on this book for the past twelve years and is now nearing completion. Besides accomplishing the research and writing for Richard F. Lack, Mr. Christensen is also designing and laying out this stunningly beautiful and unparalleled volume. The author of the expanded biography included in the catalogue was written by Stephen Gjertson, a 1975 Atelier Lack graduate and highly regarded painter.

THE TWO-VOLUME CATALOGUE documents over 1,100 paintings, drawings, sketches, studies and etchings; beginning in 1943, when Lack was 15 years old and ending with his final work completed in 1998. There are over 950 color reproductions of Richard Lack's works. Each book is 12 x 9 inches, approximately 350 pages, printed on to high production standards on 100# fine art paper. There will also be a website, already in production.

Volume 1 includes: the catalogue of works from 1943 thru 1979, the first three chapters of Lack's expanded biography, a bibliography, chronology, and more. Retail Price: $85.00

Volume 2 includes: the catalogue of works from 1980 thru 1998, the last two chapters of Lack's expanded biography, illustrated articles Lack wrote on the painter's craft, a reproduction section of his imaginative works and their studies, and more. Retail Price: $85.00

We're making an appeal for financial support to support the publication of Lack's Catalogue and his website.

Afton Press publishing services will include but are not limited to substantive editing, copyediting: coordination of images and copy; proofreading (at several stages); indexing; printing; binding; delivery; plus marketing materials and assistance. Afton Press publisher Patricia McDonald will wok continuously with Gary Christensen and provide oversight for the Catalogue book project to its successful conclusion. The cost for these services for both volumes will total: $210,000.

The cost to print Volume 1 including the above services is $105,000 for 2,000 copies.

Katherine Lack, the wife of Richard Lack, has generously pledged $10,000 toward the publication of her husband's catalogue.

Website estimate: $6,500

The Richard F. Lack website has been designed; however, uploading all 1,100 works, creating a page with the catalogue text for each, and creating the other related pages requires additional funding.

There are different levels of support, and two non-profit organizations for you to choose from: Afton Press or The Atelier

Thank you considering participating with us in this noble enterprise, you won't be disappointed. The incomparable Richard F. Lack: Catalogue Raisonné will make an important contribution to Minnesota and American art and culture.

Most sincerely,
Gary Christensen, Patricia McDonald


The Catalogue Raisonné: A Herculean Effort!

IN AN ERA where the catalogue raisonné has been downsized or even eliminated it is rare to find anyone who has the dedication, perseverance and commitment to put together a corpus of images that represent the life career of an artist. At the same time, the opportunity to bring a catalogue raisonné together for an artist about whom few publications exist, magnifies the challenge of such a work suggesting the necessity of a herculean effort that might not be fully realized even when the work is done and published.

With this said, it is encouraging, even amazing, to find that Gary Christensen is putting together a catalogue raisonné of all the known work of Richard Lack. As an artist with a strong following among other artists, and as a teacher of the academic tradition, Lack was a force in his lifetime and now. His ability to reach others was not lost on Christensen as he has spent endless hours, and months getting closer to an understanding of Lack’s creative power by finding, cataloguing, photographing and documenting his works of art. The final product, the catalogue raisonné itself, will be the reward for this labor. It will also demonstrate to everyone the tremendous range of Lack’s talent and his ability to work so cohesively over a long period of time. In the end the catalogue raisonné will be a fitting testament for Lack as well as Gary Christensen’s dedication to a lost master.

Gabriel P. Weisberg
Professor of Art History
University of Minnesota