Ray Turner


Ray Turner (b. 1958), is an American artist known primarily for his portrait and landscape paintings. He was born in Stockton, California, and he received his BFA from the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, where he later taught for many years. Continuing to make Southern California his base for operations, Turner has progressively crafted a versatile and acclaimed body of work, growing in scope and importance.

Inspired by the 19th century American romantic landscape painters and their quest for the sublime, he explores man’s domination of nature or absence from it as if both occupied a dimension beyond the constraints of time and space.

Frequently adopting an aerial perspective, this artist heightens mood and builds psycho-perceptual charge by employing a stratagem of dramatizing sky and dwarfing terrain. There is mythic stature to Turner’s solitudes. Their convergences of land and water, water and air, of storm and calm and of night and day form the thresholds of higher ulterior realms. They radiate with presence, and they are held in abeyance by a quivering equilibrium of light and darkness, motion and stasis, vitality and defunction.

Known for developing strong thematic series, Turner has worked in a variety of genres and with an array of subjects ranging from landscapes, seascapes, cityscapes, and industrial locomotives, to portraits.

Returning with a vengeance to his equally deep roots in portraiture, Turner’s ground-breaking project, Population, is a study in colour and spatial relationships, a project that involves 196 portraits in oils where many of the same principles of his masterful landscape painting are applied in mapping the topography of the human face.

Ray Turner has been profiled in many publications including American Art Collector, Art Times, and Artweek. Turner’s work is exhibited in New York, California, and New Mexico in the United States, and internationally in Berlin and Montreal.