Robert Neuman


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Robert Neuman
About the author

Neuman’s long and prolific career has spanned sixty years. Between 1947 and 1953 he was active in the San Francisco Bay Area, completing his MFA degree at the California College of the Arts in 1951, and holding faculty appointments at San Francisco College of Fine Arts and California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland the following year. While in San Francisco he exhibited in juried shows along side of Richard Diebenkorn, Wayne Thiebaud, Clyfford Still, and other established and emerging West Coast painters. He also had the opportunity to learn from two eminent German artists then nearing the end of their careers. At Mills College in Oakland he spent a summer studying with Max Beckmann, the famous German Expressionist figurative painter who immigrated to the United States in the aftermath of W.W. II. In 1953, while on a Fulbright Grant in Stuttgart, he studied with the abstract painter Willi Baumeister and began his first series, known as the Black Paintings. Upon returning to the United States from Germany in 1955 Neuman’s activity shifted to the East Coast and he joined the Stable Gallery in New York. The following year he received a prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship, which enabled him to spend another year abroad, this time in Barcelona, Spain, where he began his second major series, the Barcelona Paintings. Throughout the next decade his paintings were featured in solo exhibitions at galleries in Boston, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., New York, and abroad. Neuman also resumed his distinguished teaching career after moving east. Since 1955, when he joined the faculty at the State University of New York, New Paltz, he has taught at the Massachusetts College of Art, Brown University, Harvard University, and Keene State College in Keene, NH, where he chaired the Art Department from1972 until his retirement in 1990. Neuman successfully balanced a serious commitment to teaching with an equally strong devotion to his own artistic production. He various bodies of work include the Pedazos del Mundo series, begun in 1960, the Space Signs series, begun in 1966, The Pile and The Stack series, both begun in 1975, the Ship to Paradise series of lithographs, etchings and drawings, begun in 1977,the Alhambra series, begun in 1980 after visiting Granada Spain, and the ongoing Lame Deer series, begun in 1981 after visiting Lame Deer in Montana.