Bette Ridgeway


Artist Statement:

“My paintings are a spontaneous occurrence, born of experience, but maturing reflexively in the process of creation. My technique is controlled improvisation. Gravity is my medium. Images are caught with intent."

Working in both 2D and 3D suits my temperament, and the many facets of my creativity. Beginning with drawing and graphic design in advertising, then painting in oils, finding my way into acrylics, and along the way, realizing I was a sculptor as well. Then came cell cast acrylic (which looks and feels like glass), mysterious and translucent, another lens to look through.  Joining paint and resin to aluminum and steel, plexiglass, designing and fabricating minimal towers of welded aluminum.  Fusing color and layers of gloss. Reflective. Meditative.

Everything connects. Aluminum bends, torches heat, paint flows, plexiglass fuses into a new substance.

Movement translated to form.


Celebrated for her large-scale, luminous poured canvases, Bette Ridgeway has devoted five decades to developing her unusual pouring technique, garnering international recognition in the process. Born in Tupper Lake, a small village in the Adirondack Mountains in New York, she has traveled the globe - studying, painting, teaching and exhibiting her work - while simultaneously immersing herself in the customs and colors of the diverse cultures of Africa, Australia, Europe, Asia, Mexico and South America. She studied and taught painting during lengthy stays in
Antananarivo, Madagascar; Canberra, Australia; and Santiago, Chile.

Her mentor Paul Jenkins (1923-2012), the acclaimed Abstract Expressionist, encouraged the artist in 1979 to work large, eliminate subject matter and focus on color, space and time. Ridgeway followed his advice and has developed and refined her signature technique. “Color is my subject and my muse,” says Ridgeway. Located in Santa Fe, New Mexico since the mid1990s, Ridgeway is represented by numerous galleries and has been shown in over 80 gallery and museum exhibitions internationally, including a concomitant juried exhibition at the 58th
Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy. Her work is included in many public and private collections.

Her recent awards include the 2023 Leonardo DaVinci International Prize, the 2023 Michelangelo International Prize, the Caravaggio International Prize 2022, the Michelangelo International Prize 2021 and “Top 60 Contemporary Masters 2017” by Art Tour International Magazine. In addition, she won the Oxford University Alumni Prize at the “Art of the Mind” exhibition at the Chianciano Art Museum in Tuscany, Italy in 2012. She has been published in noteworthy art journals and catalogues such as Monk Magazine, United Kingdom; LandEscape Art Review Special Edition, London, UK; and the inaugural edition of the London Art Biennale 2013, London, UK.