Richard Mann (1940-1990)

Richard Mann (1940-1990). Duino Elegies, 1981. Mixed media on rag paper, consisting of 43 sheets, each measuring 18 x 24 inches. Each vertical edge is hinged with mounting tape, resulting in a fold-out folio presentation. Entire measurement: 18 inches h., 774 inches w. Framing possibilities.

Pages can be separated to present each page individually if desired, or quite possibly as 10 groups corresponding to the ten poems. Please request additional images depicting alternate formats or videos.


Playwright, poet and visual artist, Rev. Richard Mann was born and educated in Melbourne Australia. At the height of America’s counter-cultural revolution, Mann moved to New York City where he lived and worked in Harlem. He was influenced by surrealism, abstract expressionism, and calligraphy at the time of his arrival.

Beginning in the mid-1970’s, the extreme living conditions of Harlem and demands of his religious calling provided subject matter for his painting. Urban decay and ubiquitous public graffiti provide inspiration for compositions that include highly stylized writing.

By the late 1970’s many works incorporate writing exclusively, with areas of layered, obscured and illegible words, very much like repeatedly tagged walls.

Education: Studied painting with Maurice Cantlon, Melbourne, Australia 1961-62. Liberal Arts Studies, Christ the King College, Melbourne, Australia. Painting with Justin O’Brien, Rome , Italy 1963-64 B.A., Post Graduate Studies, Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome, Italy, 1965

Exhibitions: Kearny Art Gallery, Melbourne, Australia, 1961-62 One-person exhibition, Wallaby Gallery, Sydney , Australia, 1962. Group Show, Quantas Gallery, Rome Italy 1962. Gallery Pax, Paris, 1965. One-person exhibition, United Nations, New York City, 1967 Emmaus House, New York City, 1968. Cleveland Art Group Gallery, 1969. Templestowe Gallery, Melbourne, 1971. Oomoto Foundation, Japan, 1976. One-person exhibition, Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine, New York City, 1979. Open Studio Group Show, New York City, 1982. Naliandra Gallery, Melbourne, 1982.

Positions: 1967-1971. Co-director of Emmaus House, East Harlem, New York, a radical Catholic workshop that hosted conferences and retreats. It also published “The Bread is Rising,” a literary magazine which Mann co-edited. 1971-1972. Parish work at St. Francis, Melbourne, Australia. Development of an experimental “Theatre/ Church”, St. Augustine’s Melbourne. 1972. Director of “Pacem In Terris” festival, Warwick NY. 1973-80. Director of Arts Program, Cathedral of St. John the Divine, NY. Curated Exhibitions and performances, development of Cathedral’s collection of contemporary art. Pastoral outreach to artists. 1983: Co-director of “Theorem”, an Australian Government sponsored community arts festival. Scriptwriting, directing, stage managing and publicity.