In memory of Don Nice

The life and career of Don Nice was recognized in The New York Times last week with an appreciation by Neil Genzlinger, who shared the news that the acclaimed artist died March 4 in Cortlandt.

Over the weekend, WAG received a tribute to Nice from the Garrison Art Center that we’d like to share:

“Our week was made a little more grey upon learning of the passing of renowned American artist and friend of the Art Center, Don Nice. A resident of Garrison and Cold Spring, Don burst upon the scene in the early 1960s when the Whitney Museum of American Art acquired his ‘American Series #5.’ He was recognized as one of the innovative group of ‘new perceptual realists’ who wanted to put content back into painting. Nice integrated a gestured technique gleaned from earlier expressionist and Abstract Expressionist painters with a realist focus and energy derived from Pop Art. Combining a naturalist’s interest in observation with an artist’s compulsion for artistic vision, Nice embraced aspects of popular culture and certain critical issues of our time. He painted classic American products like sneakers, candy wrappers and soda bottles with the same intensity he lavished on quintessential site-specific landscapes from the Hudson River Valley to the Sierra Nevada Mountains. In doing so Don created a distinctive vision of civilization’s detritus in league with cultural concerns for the environment. Nice studied art in Europe and earned an MFA at Yale, and then established himself in New York City before acquiring a house and studio overlooking the Hudson River. We were so fortunate to exhibit a solo show of Don’s work back in August 2016. Don Nice ICON: 40 Years of Posters was curated by his manager and daughter, Leslie Nice-Heanue, and featured a number of originals along with signed and unsigned fine art posters. Don’s wife, Sandra, passed in 2017. We are so grateful for Don, Sandra, Leslie and Brian for their involvement in and artistic contributions to Garrison Art Center. Our thoughts are with Leslie and Brian during this difficult time.”

WAG extends its own condolences.

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– Mary Shustack

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