LOT 219

Kenneth Riley


Spirit of the Wolves

MEDIUM: Oil on board

DIMENSIONS: 40 x 24 inches

Signed/NAWA and dated 1980 lower right


SOLD FOR: $99,450.00

Including Buyers Premium

Additional Information

Museum of Western Art, Kerrville, TX, 1985
West of Camelot, Eiteljorg Museum, Indianapolis, IN, 1993

Kenneth Riley’s work is recognized by historians and curators for a number of reasons, including his delicate color palette, his use of strong male figures to tell stories of leadership, and his careful adherence to historical truth and cultural sensitivity. But, more than anything, Riley is recognized for his compositions, which were ahead of their time when they were created in the 1980s and still ahead of their time here in the 2020s. His strength in design and composition can be seen in Spirit of the Wolves, a work created in 1980. Composition begins with the Idea, which Riley uses with a capital I in West of Camelot: The Historical Painting of Kenneth Riley.

“In the mid-1960s I became intrigued with the intricacies of composition and design. Design, I decided, was the skeleton upon which everything in a painting hangs…After nearly 30 years of putting these principles into practice, I’m more convinced than ever of the powerful role design plays in presenting an Idea and communicating it to the viewer,” he writes. “In order to project an Idea or convey a feeling, an artist must be capable of a high degree of organization and an ability to present his Idea forcefully, yet simply and directly. The obligation the artist has to anyone viewing his work—whether an illustration for a story, still-life painting, portrait or mural—is to present the Idea in a fresh way. What will interest the viewer most is seeing something of the individual in the work.”


Phone: (480) 945-0225


Please note that the first unframed photo is most accurate for color. Framed photographs are to show the frame and are not color corrected to the painting.

*The Condition Reports are for guidance only and should not be relied upon as statements of fact, and do not constitute a representation, warranty, or assumption of liability by Scottsdale Art Auction. Scottsdale Art Auction strongly encourages in-person inspection of items by the bidder. All lots offered are sold “AS IS”. Please refer to item two in our terms and conditions for further information.