Robert S. Neuman: Fifty Years explores the abstract thematic painter’s work from the early Black Paintings reflecting post-World War II mood to Ship to Paradise, a series of whimsical drawings illustrating man’s journey to paradise, to the more recent Lame Deer series, which reflects the Native American experience.
Neuman pushes the balance of content and form in his work almost to the border of symbolism. The work fuses aspects from the Bay Area School-
broad surface treatment, full-color palette, and atmospheric light-with elements of German Expressionism and postwar European painting.
Born in the mining town of Kellogg, Idaho in 1926, Neuman began drawing when he illustrated stories he heard over the radio. After an honorable discharge from the Air Force in 1946, he received his BA in applied art and his MFA in 1951 from the California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland, California. In 1953, Neuman was awarded a Fulbright grant to study with Willi Baumeister in Germany. He has taught at Brown University and Harvard University, and was Chairman of the Art Department at Keene State College in New Hampshire from 1972-1990. His work has been exhibited at museums and galleries worldwide, and is in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Fogg Art Museum, The Carnegie Museum, The Yale University Collection, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the DeCordova Museum, Library of Congress, The New York Public Library, and others. He lives in Winchester, Massachusetts and Northeast Harbor, Maine.