Painting Retrospective, 1953-2004
About the Artist
Born in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1925, Kay attended the Museum of Fine Arts from 1941-1943 when he stopped to serve in armed forces in Europe during World War II. Returning to the Museum School on the GI bill, in 1946, he graduated in 1949 with a prestigious James William Paige Traveling Fellowship to continue his studies in Europe. Upon return to the United States, in 1951, he taught at the Museum School until 1955 before joining former classmate David Aronson and others in helping to establish a studio art program at Boston University, where he taught from 1956 until his retirement as Professor Emeritus in 1989.
Author of numerous books on painting technique, Kay has conducted workshops in painting methods and materials at various colleges and institutions throughout the United States. In 1981, he received an Artist Fellowship grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and was elected to the National Academy of Design, New York, NYC, 2003. His work is in the permanent collections of numerous museums, including the Cape Ann Museum, Gloucester, MA; Danforth Art, Framingham, MA; the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, Lincoln, MA; the National Academy Museum, NYC; and the Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University, Waltham, MA. The artist is currently represented by Alpha Gallery, Boston. He lives and works at his home in Brookline, Massachusetts.
About the Exhibit
Danforth Art is pleased to present Reed Kay, Painting Retrospective, 1953-2004, a survey of fifty-seven paintings by a remarkable artist whose career has spanned nearly seven decades. Born in Roxbury, Massachusetts, in 1925, Kay was one of the many talented students who studied under Karl Zerbe at Boston’s Museum School during the 1940s. Together with his friend David Aronson, he helped establish a studio art program at Boston University. Yet unlike Aronson and many others who later became known as Boston Expressionists, Kay developed a painterly style that relied on close observation. Leaving his studio to paint landscapes en plein air in the 1950s, he never looked back. From the streets of Boston to the boatyards of Gloucester, Kay was fascinated by a visual truth realized by looking carefully. Working in the tradition of such great landscape painters as Constable, Corot, and Pissarro, Kay used color and light to construct pictures in a style that employed painterly mark-making to accurately represent his experience of a particular time and place.