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David Novros papers, 1963-2008

David Novros papers, 1963-2008

Novros, David, 1941-

Muralist, Painter

Collection Information

Size: 1.0 linear feet

Summary: The papers of abstract painter David Novros are dated 1963 to 2008, and measure 1.0 linear foot. Correspondence, records relating to the Liaunig Boat House commission (Middleburgh, N.Y.), interview transcripts, printed material, and photographs document the painter's professional career.

Biographical/Historical Note

David Novros (1941-) is a painter from New York, N.Y.

Provenance

Donated in 2009 by David Novros.

Related Materials

A Finding Aid to the David Novros Papers,
1963-2008
, in the Archives of American Art
AAA.novrdavi
Author
Finding aid prepared by Catherine S. Gaines
Biographical Note
David Novros (1941-) is an abstract painter in New York, NY.
Abstract painter David Novros was born in Los Angeles in 1941 and lived with his family in Van Nuys, California. His father, Lester Novros, was an artist whose interest in movement eventually led him to the Walt Disney Company, where he worked on animation projects. In 1941 he established his own production company, Graphic Films, and began teaching in the Cinema Department of the University of Southern California. Both David and his brother Paul were enamored with film; David turned to painting, but Paul followed in their father's line of work and became an award-winning film producer.
David entered the University of Southern California and studied painting with James Jervaisee. He made a few student films and sometimes worked with his father, but before long he turned to painting. During the summer of 1961, Novros attended courses at Yale and met Chuck Close, Brice Marden, and Vija Celmins.
After earning a B.F.A. in 1963, Novros completed his Army Reserve obligations and travelled in Europe. He moved to New York City in 1964 and met many Minimalist artists. Over the next several years, Novros's rectangular paintings gave way to multi-panel paintings and then to shaped panels. From the late 1960s through the 1970s, Novros developed a reputation as a geometric abstractionist. He showed at Park Place Gallery and had a solo exhibition at Virginia Dwan Gallery (Los Angeles) in 1966; the next year, his work was again presented at Park Place Gallery and at the Virginia Dwan Gallery (New York). Several solo exhibitions followed at Klaus Kertess's influential Bykert Gallery, as well as at other venues.
Novros participated in important exhibitions of abstraction, among them "Systemic Painting" (Guggenheim Museum, 1966), "Color and Structure" (Whitney Museum of American Art, 1971), and "Abstract-Geometry-Painting: Selected Geometric Abstract Painting in America since 1945" (Albright-Knox Gallery, 1989). In 1970, he was awarded a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship.
In the 1970s, Novros turned to fresco painting, and his eventual decision to focus on murals effectively removed him from the commercial gallery scene. One of his earliest commissions was a fresco painted in 1970 for the second floor of Donald Judd's studio/home. Other commissions include: Solar Triptych, a radial triptych that opens and closes throughout the day, for the lobby of Union Station, Newark, NJ (1984); a fresco in the Old Court House, Miami (1984); a painted-glass and copper fresco in the Gross Building, Winslow, Arizona (1994-1996); and the Liaunig Boat House with fresco paintings, Middleburgh, NY (1996-2003). A number of museums in the United States and Europe include Novros's work in their permanent collections, among them: Menil Collection, Museum of Modern Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, Museum Liaunig (Austria), and Daimler contemporary (Berlin).
Mr. Novros lives and works in New York City.
Arrangement
The collection is arranged as 5 series:
Series 1: Correspondence, 1963-2008 (Boxes 1-2; 0.4 linear ft.)
Series 2: Liaunig Boat House, 1998-2004 (Box 2, OV3; 0.2 linear ft.)
Series 3: Interview Transcripts, 2008 (Box 2; 0.1 linear ft.)
Series 4: Printed Material, 1966-2008 (Box 2, OV 4; 0.2 linear ft.)
Series 5: Photographs, 1976-1999 (Box 2; 0.1 linear ft.)
Scope and Content Note
The papers of abstract painter David Novros are dated 1963 to 2008, and measure 1.0 linear foot. Correspondence, records relating to the Liaunig Boat House commission (Middleburgh, NY), interview transcripts, printed material, and photographs document the painter's professional career.
The vast majority of correspondence consists of incoming letters. The only reciprocal exchanges preserved are with art historian Charles Hope and the Menil Collection. Letters are from artists Rory McEwen, Paul Mogensen, and Ken Price; writers Frances Colpitt and Claudine Humblet; and from other colleagues and friends. The letters David Novros wrote to his family between 1963 and 1979 recount his travels and describe in some detail - many with accompanying illustrations and diagrams - work in progress, exhibitions, and commissions. Also preserved are copies of his letters to the Trustees of the Donald Judd Estate and Ranier Judd concerning the Marfa, Texas properties and projects, his Spring Street studio in New York City, and the Judd Foundation. Novros's letters to editors concern art-related articles that appeared in
The New York Review of Books
,
The New York Times
,
Los Angeles Times
, and other publications.
Peter Liaunig's commission for a boat house with three fresco paintings in Middleburgh, New York, is documented by correspondence, plans, and designs. The "Boat House Diary, Middleburgh, NY," kept by Novros August 10-15, 2003, describes the process of painting the frescoes with the assistance of Jason, and notes materials and techniques used.
Interview transcripts are of Phong Bui's conversation with David Novros, published June 2008 in
The Brooklyn Rail
, and an unpublished interview Novros conducted with sculptor Robert Graham in 2008.
Printed material about or mentioning David Novros consists of articles and reviews, exhibition announcements and posters. Items written by Novros are a review of Jackson Pollock and two poems.
Photographs are of David Novros with his family and friends. There are also views of the Novros family's home in Van Nuys, California, and Indian-painted rocks at Sears Point, Arizona that influenced Novros' art.
Provenance
Donated in 2009 by David Novros.
Related Material
An oral history interview with David Novros was conducted by Michael Brennan for the Archives of American Art in 2008.
Processing Information
The collection was processed by Catherine S. Gaines in 2010.

Restrictions on Access

Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information.

How to Cite This Collection

David Novros papers, 1963-2008. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

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