Kelly Fearing

American, 1918-2011
SOLD
Owl, 1972
SOLD
Bird Collage #2, 1959
SOLD
Blue Owl, circa 1960s
**ADDITIONAL PAINTINGS BY THE ARTIST CURRENTLY IN INVENTORY. PLEASE CONTACT GALLERY FOR DETAILS.**

Born in 1918 in Fordyce, Arkansas and raised in Louisiana, Fearing first studied art at Louisiana Tech University, and later earned a master’s degree at Columbia University in New York City. Fearing moved to Fort Worth, Texas in 1943 and joined a group of artists active between 1945 and 1955 known as the “Fort Worth Circle.” This group was responsible to a large extent for introducing modernist art and ideas to Texas. The artists experimented with European surrealism, modernism, and a new emphasis on the individual artist’s metaphysical interpretation of the world; concepts that would guide Fearing for the rest of his career as an artist.

In 1947, after two years of teaching art at Texas Wesleyan University, Fearing accepted Loren Mozley’s offer to teach in the University of Texas art department in Austin, where he joined Mozley, Everett Spruce, William Lester, Ralph White, Seymour Fogel, Constance Forsyth and Charles Umlauf in defining mid-century Texas modernism. Fearing remained on the faculty for 40 years, during which time he co-wrote art education textbooks and inspired future generations of successful artists. As a pioneer in art education in America, Fearing founded The University of Texas Junior Art Project, the first visual arts outreach program of its kind in Texas. The program offered children of all ages and from all economic backgrounds free, university-based instruction and exposure to the arts. Fearing retired in 1987 as professor emeritus from The University of Texas Department of Art and Art History and continued to work as an artist until his death in 2011.

Throughout his life, Fearing remained ever the restless explorer, experimenting with figuration, abstraction, color, and artistic processes in media ranging from graphite, charcoal, silver point, casein, gold leaf, frottage, montage and collage with found objects. He also explored a wide variety of printmaking processes singularly or in combination with other media. Since 1945, his artwork has been included in numerous solo and group exhibitions in major museums across Texas and is held in many private and public collections including: the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Museum of Fine Arts Houston, the Dallas Museum of Art and The Grace Museum. Fearing received the 2009 Texas Biennial Tribute Award and the 2007 E. William Doty Award, the most prestigious recognition offered by the College of Fine Arts at The University of Texas at Austin granted to individuals who have distinguished themselves through extraordinary professional achievement.

24th Exhibition of the Southern States Art League, Dallas Museum of Art, Texas, 1944

Fort Worth Local Artists Annual, Fort Worth Art Association Gallery, Public Library, Texas, 1944

Prints of Fort Worth Artists, Fort Worth Art Association Gallery, Public Library, Texas, 1945

Watercolors by 16 Texas Artists, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas, 1948

University of Texas Art Faculty Exhibition, Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, Texas, 1948

Newcomers: First Showing of a New Generation, Downtown Gallery, New York, 1951

Imaginative Paintings by Kelly Fearing, Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Santa Barbara, California, 1952

Texas Contemporary Artists, M. Knoedler & Company, New York; Contemporary Art Museum, Houston, Texas, 1952

University of Texas Faculty Exhibition, Dallas Museum of Art, Texas, 1953

Solo exhibition, Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Santa Barbara, California, 1953

Two Texas Artists (Kelly Fearing and Mildred Wood Dixon), Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas, 1955

Solo exhibition, Fort Worth Art Center, Texas, 1955

Made in Texas by Texans, Dallas Museum of Contemporary Art, Texas, 1959

Southwestern Art: A Sampling of Contemporary Painting and Sculpture, Dallas Museum of Art, Texas, 1960

59th Annual Exhibition of Western Art, Denver Art Museum, Denver, Colorado, 1963

Solo exhibition, El Paso Museum of Art, Texas, 1964

New York World’s Fair, Texas Pavilion, 1964

Texas Painting and Sculpture, Dallas Museum of Art, Texas, 1968

Solo exhibition, Witte Museum, San Antonio, Texas, 1969

Solo exhibition, DuBose Gallery, Houston, Texas, 1977

Made in Texas, Huntington Gallery, University Art Museum, University of Texas at Austin, Texas, 1979

Solo exhibition, McNay Art Museum, San Antonio, Texas, 1986

Beyond Regionalism: The Fort Worth School (1945-1955), Old Jail Art Center, Albany, Texas, 1986

Prints of the Fort Worth Circle, 1940-1960, Huntington Art Gallery, University of Texas at Austin, 1992

Kelly Fearing: The Influence of “The Fort Worth School,” 1939-1955, Valley House Gallery, Dallas, Texas, 1992

Kelly Fearing: A Search for Mystical Concepts, Pascal/Robinson Galleries, Houston, Texas, 1999

The Mystical World of Kelly Fearing: A Sixty Year Retrospective, traveling exhibition, University of Texas at Austin, Texas; Old Jail Art Center, Albany, Texas; Arlington Museum of Art, Texas, 2002

Texas Modern: The Rediscovery of Early Texas Abstraction (1935-1965), Martin Museum of Art, Baylor University, Waco, Texas, 2007

Intimate Modernism: Fort Worth Circle Artists in the 1940s, Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth, Texas, 2008

Texas Paper: Watercolors, Pastels and Drawings from the Lone Star State, 1938-2008, William Reaves Fine Art, Houston, Texas, 2009

Texas Art Seen, Grace Museum, Abilene, Texas, 2009-2010

Southeast Texas Art: Cross-Currents and Influences, 1925–1965, Art Museum of Southeast Texas, Beaumont, Texas, 2011

Breakthrough: Sixty Years of Texas Abstraction, William Reaves Fine Art, Houston, Texas, 2011

Rhythms of Modernism, William Reaves Fine Art, Houston, Texas, 2013

Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, Texas

Grace Museum, Abilene, Texas

Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Texas

Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas

Born in 1918 in Fordyce, Arkansas and raised in Louisiana, Fearing first studied art at Louisiana Tech University, and later earned a master’s degree at Columbia University in New York City. Fearing moved to Fort Worth, Texas in 1943 and joined a group of artists active between 1945 and 1955 known as the “Fort Worth Circle.” This group was responsible to a large extent for introducing modernist art and ideas to Texas. The artists experimented with European surrealism, modernism, and a new emphasis on the individual artist’s metaphysical interpretation of the world; concepts that would guide Fearing for the rest of his career as an artist.

In 1947, after two years of teaching art at Texas Wesleyan University, Fearing accepted Loren Mozley’s offer to teach in the University of Texas art department in Austin, where he joined Mozley, Everett Spruce, William Lester, Ralph White, Seymour Fogel, Constance Forsyth and Charles Umlauf in defining mid-century Texas modernism. Fearing remained on the faculty for 40 years, during which time he co-wrote art education textbooks and inspired future generations of successful artists. As a pioneer in art education in America, Fearing founded The University of Texas Junior Art Project, the first visual arts outreach program of its kind in Texas. The program offered children of all ages and from all economic backgrounds free, university-based instruction and exposure to the arts. Fearing retired in 1987 as professor emeritus from The University of Texas Department of Art and Art History and continued to work as an artist until his death in 2011.

Throughout his life, Fearing remained ever the restless explorer, experimenting with figuration, abstraction, color, and artistic processes in media ranging from graphite, charcoal, silver point, casein, gold leaf, frottage, montage and collage with found objects. He also explored a wide variety of printmaking processes singularly or in combination with other media. Since 1945, his artwork has been included in numerous solo and group exhibitions in major museums across Texas and is held in many private and public collections including: the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Museum of Fine Arts Houston, the Dallas Museum of Art and The Grace Museum. Fearing received the 2009 Texas Biennial Tribute Award and the 2007 E. William Doty Award, the most prestigious recognition offered by the College of Fine Arts at The University of Texas at Austin granted to individuals who have distinguished themselves through extraordinary professional achievement.

Awards & Memberships

Selected Exhibitions

24th Exhibition of the Southern States Art League, Dallas Museum of Art, Texas, 1944

Fort Worth Local Artists Annual, Fort Worth Art Association Gallery, Public Library, Texas, 1944

Prints of Fort Worth Artists, Fort Worth Art Association Gallery, Public Library, Texas, 1945

Watercolors by 16 Texas Artists, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas, 1948

University of Texas Art Faculty Exhibition, Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, Texas, 1948

Newcomers: First Showing of a New Generation, Downtown Gallery, New York, 1951

Imaginative Paintings by Kelly Fearing, Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Santa Barbara, California, 1952

Texas Contemporary Artists, M. Knoedler & Company, New York; Contemporary Art Museum, Houston, Texas, 1952

University of Texas Faculty Exhibition, Dallas Museum of Art, Texas, 1953

Solo exhibition, Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Santa Barbara, California, 1953

Two Texas Artists (Kelly Fearing and Mildred Wood Dixon), Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas, 1955

Solo exhibition, Fort Worth Art Center, Texas, 1955

Made in Texas by Texans, Dallas Museum of Contemporary Art, Texas, 1959

Southwestern Art: A Sampling of Contemporary Painting and Sculpture, Dallas Museum of Art, Texas, 1960

59th Annual Exhibition of Western Art, Denver Art Museum, Denver, Colorado, 1963

Solo exhibition, El Paso Museum of Art, Texas, 1964

New York World’s Fair, Texas Pavilion, 1964

Texas Painting and Sculpture, Dallas Museum of Art, Texas, 1968

Solo exhibition, Witte Museum, San Antonio, Texas, 1969

Solo exhibition, DuBose Gallery, Houston, Texas, 1977

Made in Texas, Huntington Gallery, University Art Museum, University of Texas at Austin, Texas, 1979

Solo exhibition, McNay Art Museum, San Antonio, Texas, 1986

Beyond Regionalism: The Fort Worth School (1945-1955), Old Jail Art Center, Albany, Texas, 1986

Prints of the Fort Worth Circle, 1940-1960, Huntington Art Gallery, University of Texas at Austin, 1992

Kelly Fearing: The Influence of “The Fort Worth School,” 1939-1955, Valley House Gallery, Dallas, Texas, 1992

Kelly Fearing: A Search for Mystical Concepts, Pascal/Robinson Galleries, Houston, Texas, 1999

The Mystical World of Kelly Fearing: A Sixty Year Retrospective, traveling exhibition, University of Texas at Austin, Texas; Old Jail Art Center, Albany, Texas; Arlington Museum of Art, Texas, 2002

Texas Modern: The Rediscovery of Early Texas Abstraction (1935-1965), Martin Museum of Art, Baylor University, Waco, Texas, 2007

Intimate Modernism: Fort Worth Circle Artists in the 1940s, Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth, Texas, 2008

Texas Paper: Watercolors, Pastels and Drawings from the Lone Star State, 1938-2008, William Reaves Fine Art, Houston, Texas, 2009

Texas Art Seen, Grace Museum, Abilene, Texas, 2009-2010

Southeast Texas Art: Cross-Currents and Influences, 1925–1965, Art Museum of Southeast Texas, Beaumont, Texas, 2011

Breakthrough: Sixty Years of Texas Abstraction, William Reaves Fine Art, Houston, Texas, 2011

Rhythms of Modernism, William Reaves Fine Art, Houston, Texas, 2013

Museums & Collections

Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, Texas

Grace Museum, Abilene, Texas

Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Texas

Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas

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