The paintings of Wilbur Niewald have a deep and persistent connection to his lifetime home of Kansas City, and in a larger sense, to the history of painting itself. After developing a unique abstract language for his paintings in the fifties and sixties, Niewald began to paint in the representational style in 1970, and has continued exclusively in that vein in the decades since. His timeless still lifes, studio portraits, and landscapes are invariably executed through direct observation in a persistent endeavor to render familiar scenes with new clarity through repetition. Niewald's devotion to his craft, and to the tradition of painting, is axiomatic in the 24 works included in his expansive solo exhibition, Recent Paintings, at the New York Studio School - his first at this institution in 22 years. At the conclusion of the exhibition in late February, Recent Paintings will travel to Haw Contemporary in Kansas City, MO, opening April 7, 2017 and on display through May 6, 2017.
Wilbur Niewald (b. 1925) is professor emeritus of painting at the Kansas City Art Institute, where he studied, taught, and for twenty-eight years, served as chair of the painting and printmaking department. He has influenced generations of students during his long tenure in the college's heralded painting department. Niewald has also taught in summer programs at the New York Studio School, Yale University, Boston University, Vermont Studio Center, and Chautauqua Institution. He is the recipient of a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship, the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Charlotte Street Fund, based in Kansas City, Artist in Residence, Grand Canyon National Park, and the Distinguished Teaching of Art Award from the College Art Association. He is a member of The National Academy of Design. Niewald's exhibitions include a retrospective at the Albrecht Kemper Museum of Art; Marianna Kistler Beach Museum; Haw Contemporary, Dolphin Gallery, and Morgan Gallery, Kansas City, MO; Wright State University, OH; a retrospective at the Kansas City Art Institute; New York Studio School; Dorry Gates Gallery, MO; Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art; Zeuxis Gallery, NY; National Academy Museum; and the Ingber Gallery, NY. Niewald's work is in the collections of numerous museums, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Albrecht-Kemper Museum of Art, and the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art.