Oklahoma Contemporary

Media Release

Oklahoma Contemporary to present John Newsom’s first solo museum exhibition

October 14, 2021
Painting of a snake and several mice climbing on and sitting next to grapes, corn and a variety of gourds and pumpkins.
John Newsom, Harvest, 2011-2016.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Lori Brooks | 405 951 0000 | lbrooks@okcontemp.org
Media kit: bit.ly/OC_Newsom

Mid-career retrospective will feature 31 paintings from the Oklahoma-raised, New York-based artist

In spring 2022, Oklahoma Contemporary will present painter John Newsom’s first solo museum exhibition. John Newsom: Nature’s Course, a mid-career retrospective, will feature 31 paintings created over the last 20 years.

Focusing on the artist’s body of work from the turn of the century to the present, the exhibition will present large-scale paintings from multiple series alongside several more intimate works. The exhibition will include the brand-new, 9 x 18 foot Nature’s Course and Homecoming, another new painting referencing Oklahoma. The exhibition of the Oklahoma-raised and New York-based artist will run March 24 to Aug. 15, 2022.

“Growing up as a youth in Oklahoma, I had a yearning to travel and explore the world as a painter,” Newsom said. “Nature’s Course is the culmination of that journey.”

Best known for his richly textured, large-scale oil on canvas paintings of flora and fauna, Newsom’s work layers and combines elements of abstract expressionism, minimalist geometric shapes and hyper-realistic representations of animals to create complex allegories of the natural world. Nature’s Course is Oklahoma Contemporary’s first all-painting exhibition since Summer Wheat: Pry the Lid Off in 2016. A fully illustrated catalog will accompany the exhibition.

Oil painting of a jaguar perched on a tree limb against a red background with palm leaves.
John Newsom, Keep Watch, 2020.

“With each painting, John Newsom creates a universe of extended metaphors and multivalent narratives,” said Jeremiah Matthew Davis, Oklahoma Contemporary’s artistic director. “With a unique combination of exquisite painterly technique, art historical allusions and rich storytelling, Newsom invites us not just to view his works, but to inhabit them. We’re thrilled to welcome the artist back to Oklahoma for his first mid-career retrospective.”

Originally from Enid, Okla., Newsom has been based in New York for his entire career, participating in more than 100 national and international exhibitions since the mid-1990s. Newsom began to pursue drawing and painting early in his youth, leaving his home state to attend boarding school at Interlochen Arts Academy before completing undergraduate and graduate work in painting at RISD and NYU.

Nature’s Course will be the second solo show, after Ed Ruscha: OKLA, in the Eleanor Kirkpatrick Main Gallery of Oklahoma Contemporary’s new, $30 million home in downtown Oklahoma City. After providing contemporary art experiences of all kinds for 30 years at the State Fairgrounds, the new, centrally located facilities dramatically increase Oklahoma Contemporary’s capacity to meet growing demand for arts and culture across the city, state and region.

Developed by and for Oklahomans to present and explore the key innovations, issues and concerns of the art of our time, Oklahoma Contemporary encourages visitors to explore art and creativity through exhibitions, performances and a wide variety of educational programs.

Admission to Oklahoma Contemporary’s exhibitions and most programs is free.


A media kit featuring the press release and high-resolution images can be found at bit.ly/OC_Newsom. Interviews with the artist and Oklahoma Contemporary staff can be organized through Lori Brooks (lbrooks@okcontemp.org). Past press releases and information are archived at oklahomacontemporary.org/media.


About Oklahoma Contemporary
At the new, state-of-the-art Oklahoma Contemporary, visitors explore art and creativity through exhibitions, performances and a wide variety of educational programs. At its core, the multidisciplinary contemporary arts organization is an inclusive space. Exhibitions and most programs are free. You are always welcome here.

In addition to the 8,000 square feet of galleries for visual art, Oklahoma Contemporary’s new downtown home includes a flexible theater, a dance studio and nine classrooms for Camp Contemporary and Studio School. The 4.6-acre grounds also include The Studios, a renovated warehouse that houses ceramics, fiber, painting, printmaking and sculpture classes. Campbell Art Park, our Sculpture Garden and North Lawn lend outdoor space for exhibitions, programs and performances.

After providing contemporary art experiences of all kinds for 30 years at the State Fairgrounds, these new, centrally located facilities dramatically increase Oklahoma Contemporary’s capacity to meet growing demand for arts and culture across our city, state and region.

Oklahoma Contemporary is a regional 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization founded in 1989 by businessman and philanthropist Christian Keesee and Kirkpatrick Foundation Director Marilyn Myers.


Images:

John Newsom, Harvest, 2011-2016. Oil on canvas. 120 x 120 in. © John Newsom. Photo courtesy John Newsom Studio.

John Newsom, Keep Watch, 2020. Oil on canvas. 108 x 84 in. © John Newsom. Photo courtesy John Newsom Studio.
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Oklahoma City, OK 73103
Phone: 405 951 0000
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P.O. Box 3062
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