Exhibit of Nield Paintings At Staniar Gallery

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Washington and Lee University’s Staniar Gallery is presenting the exhibition “American Surrealist, paintings by Donald Nield (1924-1984),” which will be on display through Feb. 9.

Elliot King, associate professor of art history at W&L, will give a lecture about the artist’s work on Jan. 18 at 5:30 p.m. in Wilson Hall’s Concert Hall. The event will be followed by a reception in Lykes Atrium, adjacent to the hall.

The exhibition and related events are free and open to the public. All attendees are expected to be masked indoors in compliance with the university’s COVID-19 guidelines.

Nield’s paintings are characterized by fantastical settings, personal symbols and humorous juxtapositions drawn from art references, history and popular culture. A self-identified surrealist painter, Nield was born in Shanghai and spent his childhood in the United Kingdom, Canada and China before immigrating to the United States in 1933. Having studied anatomy, perspective and life drawing in the 1950s, Nield rejected contemporary abstract art in favor of traditional figurative painting. By 1967, he had developed a visual vocabulary that merged Old Master painting, surrealism and pop art. This exhibition at W&L features selections from Nield’s extensive oeuvre, which is now in a private collection.

King is an internationally recognized authority on surrealism in the 20th century, with expertise in the art of Salvador Dali, a subject in which he has specialized for more than two decades. In his talk on Jan. 18, King will discuss Nield’s work in the context of surrealism.

The Staniar Gallery is located on the second floor of Wilson Hall in Washington and LeeUniversity’s LenfestCenter for the Arts. For more information, call 458-8861.


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