Photo © President and Fellows of Harvard College
Identification and Creation
Object Number
2003.276
People
Robert S. Neuman, American (Kellogg, Idaho 1926-2015 Boston, Massachusetts)
Title
Small Black Painting
Classification
Paintings
Work Type
painting
Date
1952
Places
Creation Place: North America, United States
Culture
American
Persistent Link
https://hvrd.art/o/50597
Physical Descriptions
Medium
Oil on masonite
Dimensions
99.1 x 121.9 cm (39 x 48 in.)
Inscriptions and Marks
  • Signed: NEUMAN (l.r.) also signed on reverse: "Small Black Painting"/ Robert S. Neuman/ 1952"
Provenance
Private Collector, gift; to Harvard University Art Museums, 2003.
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Anonymous Gift
Copyright
© Estate of Robert S. Neuman
Accession Year
2003
Object Number
2003.276
Division
Modern and Contemporary Art
Contact
am_moderncontemporary@harvard.edu
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Descriptions
Description
This work is executed primarily in blacks and dark browns, with touches of pale green and white, with several broad strokes of orange/red at the left. The thick, tar-like surface is dense and very rough; the paint has been dripped, splattered, gouged, and scratched in places. Above the center are two large "5"s, one in reverse. The painter has scratched his last name on the surface at the right. Neuman made the frame.
Commentary
After serving in the army, then studying at the San Francisco Art Institute, Neuman lived in Oakland, California, in 1951-52. He made a series of dense, abstract black paintngs: one of the earliest was "Small Black Painting". At the time he had recently become aware of the work of Clifford Still, Richard Diebenkorn, David Park, and other California artists. For a decade, Neuman worked in a powerful, individual manner, in a style that puts him in the mainstream of this era.
Exhibition History

Robert S. Neuman: Fifty Years, Allan Stone Gallery, New York, 01/12/2006 - 03/04/2006

Impulse and Discipline: 60 Years of Paintings by Robert S. Neuman, 1950-2010, Thorne Sagendorph Art Gallery, Keene, 09/22/2017 - 12/10/2017

This record has been reviewed by the curatorial staff but may be incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. For more information please contact the Division of Modern and Contemporary Art at am_moderncontemporary@harvard.edu