John Newsom is an American Contemporary Painter based in New York City. Newsom was born in 1970 in Hutchinson, Kansas. He was raised in Kansas and Oklahoma. As a surprise for his 14th birthday, Newsom’s Father took him to visit The Dallas Museum of Art where Newsom was inspired to pursue a life in painting upon encountering Robert Rauschenberg’s largest Combine Painting titled, ‘Skyway’, 1964. Newsom completed High School in 1988 at the prestigious Interlochen Arts Academy located in Interlochen, Michigan. He then went on to receive a BFA in Painting from The Rhode Island School of Design, Providence in 1992 and an MFA in Painting from New York University in 1994. He has lived in New York City full time since 1992, and currently resides with his wife and two children in Brooklyn. His work has been exhibited both nationally and internationally at various galleries and museums. He is best known for combining multiple techniques of formal painting strategies onto large canvases, featuring dynamic spectacles of the natural world. Beneath his thick and sensuous painted renderings of flora and fauna is a grappling with the giants of abstraction. In a 2015 monograph of Newsom’s paintings, critic Barry Schwabsky writes in his essay, “what keeps ‘strong painting’ from becoming merely muscle bound – is Newsom’s secret weapon: the discipline that comes from considering himself, not a painter of images, but rather an abstractionist … to appreciate his paintings is … to engage with their surfaces of purely sensual incident.”
Newsom has recently been the focus of several early-career survey exhibitions presented at notable institutions, including The Richard J. Massey Foundation for the Arts and Sciences in New York 2011-2012, as well as MANA Contemporary located in Jersey City, NJ, held in 2015. Critical reviews and articles on his work have appeared in Artforum, Art in America, Flash Art and The New York Times, among other notable publications. His work is included in numerous private and public collections including The Museum of Modern Art, The Whitney Museum of American Art, and The Brooklyn Museum in New York, The Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, The Neuberger Museum of Art in Purchase, NY, The Yale University Art Gallery, in New Haven, and The RISD Museum in Providence, RI.