Randy Twaddle

(b.1957) Randy Twaddle grew up in the small town of Elmo, Mich. His father, who was a banker and mailman, had no concept of what it was to be an artist, nor did a high school counselor who discouraged him from majoring in art. His mother, however, was more receptive of the idea. When Twaddle felt lost at the University of Missouri-Columbia, his mother encouraged him to move closer to home to take art classes at Northwest Missouri State University. The art faculty there embraced his creativity and talent. The curriculum was a broad-based format and allowed him to take classes such as calligraphy, a discipline that played an important role in his later career development and subject matter. 

After graduating with a B.F.A. in 1980, Twaddle moved to Dallas where the art market was expanding rapidly. He worked in a gallery frame shop and made art in his off hours. In 1984, Moody Gallery in Houston began exhibiting his work. As his art career progressed, he moved to Houston and went back to school at the University of Houston, earning his MFA in 1996. Twaddle left the art world in 1998 to start a marketing company. He returned to the studio in 2011 for a number of years but changed his career direction in 2021 for a second time. He is currently Executive Director of The John Fairey Garden in Hempstead, Texas just outside Houston.

Twaddle’s art is still widely collected. He is known for rendering utilitarian, man-made objects as abstract art forms rather than as functional equipment. Among his favorite motifs are power lines and transformers, subjects he finds fascinating because “they have become invisible through their ubiquity.” He has reproduced them in large scale drawings, wallpaper and even rugs. His use of design and abstraction make these objects take on a highly appealing appearance. He has also created several series of drawings and collages using words and text as social commentary.

Twaddle has worked in a variety of media including drawing, painting, collage, printmaking, and sculpture. His art may be found in the permanent collections of the Art Museum of Southeast Texas in Beaumont, the Blanton Museum of Art in Austin, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the Dallas Museum of Art, the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, the New Orleans Museum of Art and the Brooklyn Museum, NY


Extended Orbits by Randy Twaddle

Extended Orbits

Year: 1989
Medium: Lithograph diptych on paper
Edition: 4/20
Location: Education Building, 1st Floor

Gift of Rob Clark and Jerry Thacker

In this set of lithographs, Twaddle is comparing images of two machines that orbit and exploring parallels between them. A Ferris wheel is pictured in the left image and a satellite in the right. The Ferris wheel is an older invention, and though physically larger than a satellite, has a smaller orbit. The satellite has a larger range of influence and is depicted in heavy, black silhouette to emphasize its power and reach. 

Interesting tidbit:
These two lithographs may also be found in the permanent collection of the Art Institute of Chicago