The paintings of Wilbur Niewald have a deep and persistent connection to his lifetime home of Kansas City, and in a larger sense, to the history of painting itself. After developing a unique abstract language for his paintings in the fifties and sixties, Niewald began to paint in the representational style in 1970, and has continued exclusively in that vein in the decades since. His timeless still lifes, studio portraits, and landscapes are invariably executed through direct observation in a persistent endeavor to render familiar scenes with new clarity through repetition.
This exhibition focuses specifically on Niewald's watercolors and drawings - two mediums that have been part of his practice since the beginning, but which may be less familiar to viewers than his iconic oil paintings. Subject matter will be familiar to followers of Niewald's career. Watercolors are executed in the same handful of places that he paints his oils, and many of the drawings are of his timeless studio in the historic Livestock Exchange Building. However, while the medium may change, the hallmarks of Niewald's work are always present, and his observational skills remain distinctive and unique.