Known for Queen’s Closet in the Museum’s Contemporary Gallery, Cleaver creates elaborate figurative sculptures full of hidden compartments to capture the lives and secrets of historical figures and personal acquaintances.
The artist is fascinated by monarchies, mythology, and religion, and these themes form the subjects of his work. Constructing the sculptures in clay, Cleaver then paints meticulous patterns and applies precious and semiprecious stones to create the sumptuously decorated surfaces. Tableau: The Art of Richard Cleaver surveys the artist’s most recent sculptures and the private worlds they reveal.
Cleaver received his bachelor of fine arts degree from Maryland Institute College of Art and completed a master of fine arts degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.