Roy Newell

Harmony and Juxtaposition
Viewing room
24 May - 7 June 2021

His paintings developed, remarkably, in harmony and juxtaposition with one another

A self-taught artist, Roy Newell (1914-2006) created an oeuvre of less than a hundred small, vividly-colored geometric abstractions, which he painted carefully and deliberately over the course of decades. In a practice reminiscent of Albert Pinkham Ryder, Newell often re-worked his jewel-like compositions, building up a layered and textured surface. A founding member of the 8th Street Artists Club and a colleague of Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, and Franz Kline, he began his career as part of the Abstract Expressionist circle. As his contemporaries began working bigger and more gesturally, Newell dramatically changed his approach, concentrating instead on tiny hard-edged abstractions with vibrant color relationships that evoke the influence of Kazimir Malevich, Paul Cézanne, and Hans Hofmann. Throughout his career Newell exhibited infrequently. His paintings developed, remarkably, in harmony and juxtaposition with one another, as components of a salon-style installation in his apartment. Newell was honored with the retrospective Color and Time: Paintings by Roy Newell 1956-2000 at the Pollock-Krasner House and Study Center in 2014.

Roy Newell. Courtesy of Sotheby’s.
Roy Newell. Courtesy of Sotheby’s.

"Mondrian hated green. He was anti-nature. I'm anti-module. There's a geometry in nature; it's not a tightly wrapped package."

– Roy Newell

“Each [painting] has its own physical density; all are clamped into place by the concentrated buildup of paint, laid on in small, jabbing brushstrokes. The tension is amazing.” – Roberta Smith, The New York Times, February 11, 2010

“He is at his best in the smallest pictures, where he tends to employ the fewest colors and where colors themselves placed in close-valued juxtapositions.” – Hilton Kramer, The New York Times, May 26, 1973

1 /
1 /

“Surfaces are built up in countless layers, creating areas of near­-sculptural planar relief. Textural effects vary within a single piece from cakey and densely feathered to oil-rich and loosely brushed. Mr. Newell's palette is bright but complicated and holds some audacious surprises …” – Holland Cotter, The New York Times, May 29, 1998

Roy Newell, 1996. Photograph by John Woodward.
Roy Newell, 1996. Photograph by John Woodward.

Roy Newell


1914 Born New York, NY

2006 Died New York, NY



1951 New Art Circle, New York, NY

1951 St. Louis City Art Museum, St. Louis, MO

1952 Galley 99, New York, NY
1952 Hacker Gallery, New York
1953 The Stable Gallery, New York, NY

1953 Hacker Gallery, New York

1953 Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY

1963 Amel Gallery, New York, NY

1972 Richard Minsky Gallery, Forest Hills, NY

1973 Gorham Galleries, New York, NY

1983 Gallery Schlesinger-Boisanté, New York, NY

1984 Gallery Schlesinger-Boisanté, New York, NY

1986 Visual Arts Center Gallery at Dowling College, Oakdale, NY

1993 Gallery Schlesinger, New York, NY

1996 John Woodward Gallery, New York  

1997 Hunter College, New York, NY

1998 Earl McGrath Gallery, New York, NY

2010 Carolina Nitsch Project Room, New York, NY

2014 Pollock-Krasner House, East Hampton, NY

2017 Sotheby’s, New York, NY



For more information about Roy Newell: Harmony and Juxtaposition, please contact us at info@hollistaggart.com or +1 212.628.4000.

    Sign up for updates

    Receive information about exhibitions, artists and events.

    We will process the personal data you have supplied in accordance with our privacy policy. You can unsubscribe or change your preferences at any time by clicking the link in any emails.