Ralph Petty


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Born in the USA, Professor Petty came to Paris in 1976 to work in the etching studio of Sir Stanley W. Hayter, Atelier 17. He taught at Parsons School of Design Paris for ten years, Institut d’Etudes Politiques Paris for three years and since the 1990s has been teaching drawing and painting at The American University of Paris (AUP). He is co-chair of the Art History Fine Arts department and the University curator. Petty created the AUP Fine Arts Gallery which recently celebrated its 100th exhibition and founded the new AUP permanent art collection which can be seen throughout the university.

His paintings and drawings concentrate on the contemporary human figure and landscape. Recent exhibitions include the Haus Kasuya Museum, Kamakura, Japan, the Novosibirsk National Museum, Novosibirsk, Russia,  and numerous gallery exhibitions in Japan and France. His recent book of drawings, Démons Quotidiens, with the Canadian writer Nancy Huston was published in 2011 by Iconoclaste. In 2013, his watercolors were published along side the texts of the American author Jeffrey Green in Shades from the other Shore, the 20th volume of the prestigious Cahier series. Petty recently has been concentrating on sculpture. One of his works, in granite, is displayed permanently in front of the Combes building as part of the celebration of the university’s 50th anniversary. He is also a musician/ composer and created the Ralph Trio.


  • BFA University of California Davis, Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Arts Appliqués et des Métiers d’Art, Paris, specialty, stained glass


Some of Ralph's more recent work: 


Elsa   Julie  Juliette




Mas de Cheylas   The mask


  •  2013, Listening, 12 page brochure on granite sculpture in celebration of the 50th anniversary of The American University of Paris. It is on permanent display in front of the main building of the university, 6 rue de Colonel Combes, Paris 75007 and is part of the university's Permanent Collection. The introduction,was written by Nancy Huston2013.

  2013, Shades from the Other Shore, images by Ralph Petty and text by Jeffrey Greene,published by   Sylph Editions in the UK and The Center for Writers & Translators (American University of Paris). This   book, number 20 in the prestigious Cahiers Series, is distributed in the US by the University of Chicago   Press.


  2011, Co-author with Nancy Huston of Démons Quotidiens, four-handed journal of a year in the life, texts   by Nancy Huston, Drawings by Ralph Petty, Editions Iconoclaste, 400 pages, 150 colored drawings.



  2010, Contributed section of drawing and exercise for children for the book: Créer avec  Magritte,   Editor: Jean Poderos, Editions Courtes et Longues,  16, rue Saint-Paul, 75004.



  • 2009, Limited edition fine artist book, Encounters: A Riff on the Senses, by Ralph Petty and Charles Jones, La Nana Creek Press, 2009, Nacogdoches, Texas, edition of forty hand printed and hand bound hard cover books using original writings and drawings of Ralph Petty and Charles Jones.
  • 2008, Book cover illustration for the Brazilian publisher L&PM Editores for Dolce Agonia by Nancy Huston (publication date: January 2009)
  • 2008, The Computer, The Painter, The Image and His Brushes, article written for the website: www.digitalapplejuice.com (under ‘Art Commentary’)
  • 2008, The Computer, Slow Food and Stone, article for the website: www.digitalapplejuice.com
  • 2007, Illustration and text for children’s book Créer avec Warhol, published by Editions Courtes et Longues
  • 2007, Illustration and text for children’s book Créer avec Vermeer, published by Édition Courtes et Longues
  • 2006, Co-Editor of Catalogue for The Permanent Art Collection 2006 of The American University of Paris
  • 2001, Cover illustration Dolce Agonia, Nancy Huston (Actes Sud, 2001)
  • 2000, Cover and illustrations of CD jacket, Ralph Trio
  • 1999, Paris Atlantic, featured artist (cover and illustrations) in Paris-based literary journal (published by the American University of Paris)
  • 1999, Variations, featured artist (illustrations and article entitled “Festin”), published by the Fédération des Relais Enfants-Parents, Montrouge, France
  • 1999, Illustration for book cover: Our Lady, Dale Gershwin (Mosaic Press, 1999).
  • 1998, Frank (interview and illustrations), Paris
  • 1997, The Pueblo Chieftain, Pueblo Colorado—Profile in March 11, 1997 edition
  • 1993, Catalogue—“Itinéraire 93,” Levallois
  • 1990, Frank (International art and literary journal)—Interview and reproductions of work, Paris
  • 1982, Zephyr Calendar—Design: Davidson/Petty, Illustrations: Petty. L.N. Fowler and Co. London

Recent exhibitions

  • 2013, The American University of Paris, Three person show of paintings
  • 2013, Retrospective group exhibition of ENSAAMA ex-students 1970-2013, paintings, Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Arts Appliqués et des Métiers d’Art, Paris
  • 2012, Casino Gallery, Aix-les-Bains, France, Three person show of paintings
  • 2012, Novosibirsk Graphic Art Triennial, Novosibirsk State Art Museum, drawings selected for international competion of 250 graphic artists from Asia, Europe, North and South America with catalogue
  • 2012, Espace La Preuve par Neuf, Paris, solo exhibition of drawings, paintings, sculpture
  • 2011, Sakura City Museum, Japan, Le chat qui parle, group show of paintings
  • 2011,The American University of Paris Fine Arts Gallery, solo show of drawings for the book Démons Quotidiens, (2011) texts by Nancy Huston, drawings by Ralph Petty
  • 2011, Espace d’Editeur Iconoclaste, Paris, Exhibitions of drawings for the book, Démons Quotidiens
  • 2011, Exhibition in Haus Kasuya Museum, Kamakura, with Japanese artist Matsutani, paintings and drawings, two man show
  • 2011, Exhibition in Mutsu Gallery, Tokyo, solo show of paintings and drawings
  • 2011, Novosibirsk State Museum, Novosibirsk, Russia, solo show, 70 works, paintings drawings. Exhibition will travel to other Russian museums in Omsk, Chelyabinsk and Samara
  • 2010, Musée de Parc Tobinodai—Iseki, group show, “Esprit deJomonII, Funabashi City, Japan
  • 2010, Eumeria Gallery, Tokyo, exhibitions of paintings, group show comprising of 4 other international artists. There was a symposium on Fuji television on the program “Prime Time News” May 14, Friday, 20:00 -22:00 (Tokyo time) that discussed this exhibition with the theme “Internationalism, localism in the arts”
  • 2010, T & S Gallery in Tokyo, exhibitions of paintings and drawings, one man show

Research Areas

Drawing, painting, sculpture

Curriculum Vitae