For Immediate Release:
NEIL WELLIVER: NEW PAINTINGS
An exhibition of new paintings by Neil Welliver will be on view at Tibor de Nagy Gallery from March 18 - April 24, 1999. The artist will be present at the gallery for an opening reception on Saturday, March 20, from 2 to 5 pm.
The unromanticized wilderness of the Maine woods has been the source of Neil Welliver’s art for over three decades. Often as large as eight feet square, Welliver’s paintings depict, with vivid immediacy, detail and economy, the magnificent everyday cycles of nature in a landscape untouched by man. Rushing icy water in thawing spring streams, boulder strewn hills, groves of birch and old growth spruce, verdant leaves of spring and reflections of autumn foliage are subjects of Welliver’s recent large scale paintings and plein air studies.
With gestural strokes of pure color against pure color, painted wet on wet, each mark defining a form, Welliver creates great space and depth while simultaneously asserting the flatness of the picture plane. Welliver has stated that his goal as a painter is to make a natural painting as fluid as a de Kooning.
The critic Robert Hughes says “(His) landscapes are ‘all-over’ paintings, slices taken from a boundless field of pictorial incident. They pay homage to the materialism of Courbet, to the large-scale nineteenth-century American landscape, and to Abstract Expressionism, all at once. His large paintings of Maine woods could only have matured in the thirty years after Pollock.” Welliver maintains a remarkable balance between the objective and non-objective.
Welliver was born in rural Pennsylvania. He attended the Philadelphia Museum College of Art and the Yale School of Art. At Yale he studied with and taught for Josef Albers, whom he considers his most important influence. In 1966 he founded the Graduate School of Fine Arts at the University of Pennsylvania where he remains a Professor Emeritus.
Welliver’s work has been the subject of over sixty-five one-person exhibitions. His work is included in numerous private and public collections including the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden; The Metropolitan Museum of Art; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Philadelphia Museum of Art; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art.
Today Welliver is involved in local government and remains fiercely committed to the preservation of the environment. His own 1,600 acres are presently being protected from possible future development through the creation of land trusts. The artist will celebrate his 70th birthday in July.
A survey of Welliver’s figurative paintings from the 1960s is scheduled for spring 2000.
For further information or visuals please contact Phil Alexandre: 212-262-5050.