“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, 2010
Born in 1914 in Manhattan’s Lower East Side, Roy Newell was the son of Eastern European immigrants, and one of four children. Largely a self-taught artist, who spent hours immersing himself in the Art Reference room of the New York Public Library, he became an original member of the Abstract Expressionist movement.
Despite friendships with contemporaries including Willem de Kooning, Jackson Pollock and Franz Kline, all of whom greatly respected his work, Newell went through life relatively undiscovered, and outside the art world mainstream. When his work was shown it received critical praise, but Newell never had a consistent dealer to promote his art. He was also unmotivated by money and had difficulty parting with paintings --many of his works were executed over a number of years as he continually reworked the compositions with new layers of colors until he felt satisfied. The result was brilliantly-colored, geometric abstractions imbued with tension that vacillates between muscular and elegant. Newell also produced a series of powerful figural works – the depth and diversity of his oeuvre reveals his brilliance.
S|2 is Sotheby’s Contemporary art gallery, offering year-round exhibition programming and bespoke private sales.
With dedicated gallery space in New York, London and Hong Kong, S|2 presents selling exhibitions exploring the work of celebrated artists, such as Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring, Yayoi Kusama, and Claude and François-Xavier Lalanne, as well as shows curated by influential art world figures like Vito Schnabel.
In addition to gallery programming, the S|2 team facilitates private acquisitions and sales around the world. Learn more at WWW.SOTHEBYS.COM/S2.