Nicole Longnecker Gallery opens the year with the solo exhibit, Black and White with Gray and Color, featuring a new body of kite-themed work by revered Houston artist Floyd Newsum. About the work in this exhibit, Newsum elaborates, “The kite is a symbol of resilience. The kite soars against the sky and is able to confront the turbulence of life. For me it also suggests a playful form dancing across the visual space. It is my attempt to create the notion of stability in concert with graphic marks arranged in free flowing gestural rhythm. The usual elements of the chicken, dog, ladder, house and woman with my whimsical marks are a staple in the compositions. This series also is about using black and white with limited color.”
“I’m excited to present a new body of work by one of Houston’s finest artists,” said gallery owner Nicole Longnecker. “Last September, I was honored to accompany Floyd to the unveiling of his two paintings included in the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. Seeing the reactions of the overflow crowds to Floyd’s work illustrated the impact his art has on the viewer.”
FLOYD NEWSUM: Floyd Newsum, a painter and printmaker with a career spanning four decades, is a Houstonian by way of Memphis. Currently a University of Houston art professor, he spent his childhood years in Tennessee and received his Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts in Memphis before moving to Philadelphia where he earned a Master’s Degree in Fine Art.
Newsum’s work demonstrates the influence of West African art in his work. His work is often filled with a signature combination of marks, and abstract patterns along with fish, birds, and ladders. His compositional style generally feels childlike; however, his subject matter centers on cultural climates, political statements, and world events. The contrast of his naive style and serious state of the world focus lend a multi-dimensional quality to his work. In his own words, Newsum has said “I want to provoke thought or conjecture from the viewer. My paintings are a collection of thoughts in a single composition, with the power to present more than one interpretation.”