Houston Times Eight {HX8}

Floyd Newsum


Floyd Newsum, Installation view, Station Museum of Contemporary Art, 2012


Since the beginning of my career I have painted on paper. The watercolor in this presentation is dated back to 1972. It reveals my history of working on paper. I continue to work on paper, but I now at times mount it on canvas. The one painting in this exhibition mounted on canvas gives the viewer a new experience with my compositions. My work deals with creating tactile surfaces and colors of paint on multiple papers making one composition. I have started to change the edges of some compositions, so that they are not straight edges, but give the compositional field a different visual appearance. I take several symbols and use them in my work to reflect my background or history. These images or symbols are sometimes secondary to the paint surface. I want to provoke thought from the viewer, and I enjoy reactions from the viewers when they are not sure about my intent. A painting is a collection of thoughts in a single composition unless it is an illustration. Sometimes my intent is to present more than one interpretation.

– Floyd Newsum


Floyd Newsum, “What’s Your Primary?”, 2010 – 2012, 4 panels, mixed media on paper, first panel courtesy of Drs. Brissett & Family


Floyd Newsum, “I Know the Grackle, But You Don’t Know Me”, 2009 – 2012, mixed media on canvas


Floyd Newsum, from the series – “European Landscapes”, 2004 – 2012, installation with ink on paper and paper clouds

Floyd Newsum, “Reverend”, 1972, watercolor on paper, collection of the artist


Floyd Newsum is represented in Houston by Wade Wilson Gallery.

A native of Memphis, Tennessee, Floyd Newsum graduated from Memphis College of Art with a BFA in 1973 and from Temple University, Philadelphia with an MFA in 1975. His public art projects include two Houston Metro Light Rail Station art designs, seven sculptures for Houston’s Main Street Square Station, four paintings in the Commerce Building of the University of Houston, Downtown, a suspended sculpture for the lobby of the Acres Home Multi-Service Center (Houston), and five suspended sculptures for the lobby of the Hazel Harvey Peace Building (Fort Worth, Texas). His paintings and prints are in private collections, public museums, universities, and public institutions, including: University of Maryland College Park, Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Xavier University (New Orleans), and Philadelphia Museum of Art, among others. He was one of ten Artists to receive the 2008 Artadia Artist Grant from New York. He is the coordinator of the art studio sections in the Department of Arts and Humanities at the University of Houston and teaches courses that include drawing, painting and art appreciation.