Art Exhibit Dedicated to Michael Richards, Artist Killed on 9/11

An art exhibit dedicated to 9/11 victim Michael Richards is seen at the LMCC Arts Center on Governors Island. Many of the pieces in the exhibit are related to flight and flying, including a gold-colored statue depicting an aviator surrounded by planes.
Many of Richards’ works related to the concept of flight and can be seen in the LMCC Arts Center on Governor’s Island. Photo by Etienne Froussard.

Before his death on 9/11, emerging artist Michael Richards was on the path to becoming a prominent figure in contemporary art with his work known for its provocative and critical elements.

On the morning of Sept. 11, he was working in his World Views studio, sponsored by the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, on the92nd floor of the North Tower.

Marking the 15th anniversary of 9/11, the largest exhibition of Richards’ work to date is featured in LMCC’s “Michael Richards: Winged,” at the Arts Center at Governor’s Island.

In his work, Richards explores historical and ongoing oppression of black people through drawings and sculptures. Central themes of his work include aviation, flight, and escape—alluding to repression and reprieve from social injustices and the potential for uplift and downfall.   

The imagery of airplanes, pilots and wings in Richards' work take on a new meaning after 9/11. Before his death, Richards described the notion of flight in his work. He said, "The idea of flight relates to my use of pilots and planes, but it also references...the idea of being lifted up, enraptured, or taken up to a safe place—to a better world."

The show is free and open to the public. Click here for more information. 

By Hannah Foley, 9/11 Memorial Communications Intern 

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