perhaps more than any other mature living painter, has shown himself unwilling
to let an image rest - sometimes through hundreds of reworkings - until he is
absolutely convinced of its having reached the proper state of counterpointed
harmonies and tensions. Today, at the age of 85, he claims to have made less
than a hundred paintings. But, as he relates, each one of these canvases in
fact incorporates "dozens of paintings" worked into and buried beneath the dominant
image. Many of the paintings have been reworked over the course of decades.
Roy Newell's art is a rare exemplar of painting unphased by time. He acknowledges
no outside pressure on the pace of their creation, allowing layers and patterns
to emerge on an organic clock set to his own evolving emotional and intellectual
understanding of their exigencies. Although this style of working has contributed
to the limited exposure Newell's paintings have received, recognition of their
importance has gradually increased over time. Today, Newell's paintings are
included in a number of major collections, both individual and institutional.
His work is owned by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the de Kooning Estate,
the New York University Art Collection, Seymour Hacker and Edvard Leiber among