Michael Newberry is a visionary painter born in 1956, known for his avant-garde figurative style and contributions to color theory, humanism, and art history. Drawing on a variety of influences, including Rembrandt and the French Impressionists, he creates powerful, life-sized canvases that blend classical techniques with original innovations and futuristic sensibilities. His work has been exhibited in major cities around the world, and is collected by internationally renowned figures such as designer Chan Luu, world-class tennis player and coach Brian Teacher, and philosopher Stephen Hicks.

Newberry is also an accomplished author and teacher, with a deep understanding of the human form and its place in the natural world. He has written four books on art, including Evolution Through Art, and has contributed new insights into color theory involving space, light, atmosphere, and form, the significance of a flourishing human psyche as an end in itself, and new perspectives on art history and art criticism through the celebration of innovative contributions in technique and content. Widely regarded as one of the most innovative painters of his generation, he continues to push the boundaries of traditional painting and explore new ways of expressing the human experience.


He began painting at age 11, after discovering Rembrandt.

He was a fine art major at the University of Southern California from 1974 to 1977 and was mentored by American modernist Edgar Ewing. His first solo show, at age 19, was in 1976 at a local bank in La Jolla, California, and featured a large portrait, Fifi.

In 1977, before graduating, he left USC to study at the Royal Academy at the Hague, in the Netherlands. Later he attended  the Free Academy Psychopolis from 1977-79 with an emphasis on life drawing. He had a second solo show at De Sluis Gallery in Leidsendam, Holland, in 1979.

Outside of his studies he began creating canvases of life-sized solitary nudes, a practice he continues through to today. The 1978 painting Jette is a good example from this period.

Starting around 1980 Newberry began incorporating realism, The Sculptor, followed up by narrative themes such as with this 84 x 60″ 1984 painting, Pursuit.


He has continued to paint without interruption since his twenties. While teaching at Otis College of Art and Design (then Otis/Parsons), Newberry painted a series of life sized nudes including Denouement, Ascension Day, Absorption, and Counterpose. After 4 years of teaching , he moved to Rhodes, Greece. Incorporating ancient myths with contemporary people and places he painted Icarus Landing, and he also completed Synergy, Release, and Slipper which were previously begun in Los Angeles and were 7 years in the making. In ’99 he was featured in CNN International’s The Art Club.

From 1985 to 2010 he showed in solo, pop up, group, gallery, internationally traveling exhibitions, and his own gallery in Santa Monica, The Newberry Gallery. Notable shows were at the Athens College in Athens, Greece; 3 times with the Ministry of Greek Culture, Rhodes, Greece; at II Politecnico, Rome, Italy; several self-hosted thematic shows at his Downtown Los Angeles studio on Traction Avenue, such as 65 pastel drawings from a 3-month trip to Greece and Turkey in 1988.

His most notable show from this period was in 1990 Ascension, The Figure Through Emotive Themes, Naissance Gallery, West Hollywood, California. 400 people attended, several works sold, a passage from Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged was read by actress Kathleen Houlihan Burke, a world premier performance for solo piano Transcendental Rhapsody by composer Donald Edick, and a subliminal sound experience was created in collaboration with Hollywood sound producer Gordon Ecker. The painting Denouement was the highlight.

In 1992 he drew a series of charcoal drawings on the themes of mourning and rebirth. Rend is a short essay about the experience with some of the drawings from that series.

Coinciding with  9/11 Newberry began writing art criticism critical of Postmodern art theory and pointing towards an alternative aesthetics of new evolutionary elements in figurative art. These are good examples: Terrorism and Postmodern Art and Pandora’s Box Part 3. And a few years later began writing art tutorials online, such as Composition in One Easy Lesson.

Briefly living in Florida and then moving to Brooklyn Newberry completed Artemis, 2006, and Venus, 2008 before moving to Santa Monica. There he opened the Newberry Gallery showing artists such as William Wray and Robin Purcell as well as his own works.


Leaving his 2-year role as Artist/Gallery Director in 2010 he moved from Santa Monica to L.A.’s Arts District to paint. A few years later he moved to a cabin retreat in Idyllwild, California. He stepped away from showing and focused on reinventing his painting. During this time he completed the long-term projects Lovers Jumping and Adam and Eve, Promethia 2. And he created the Arabesque Series–Male, Female, and Heterosexual Couples; Lightness; Emerging; The Collector; Katie Pregnant; Winter; Venus of the Planets; and Venus 3.

In 2017 he had a solo show at the White Cloud Gallery in Washington, D.C. He drove from California to D.C, transporting the show across America, documenting the trip, and opening, An American Journey. Pastels from the trip are here.

In 2021 at the Figure Ground Gallery in Seattle he had a solo show of innovative Wave Series, sixteen pastel seascapes each with a different variation on his color theory. In June, 2023 he will have a solo also at the Figure Ground Gallery, Freedom to Go Anywhere, showing his broad range of works and explorations.


A list of some works since Newberry was 19 years old.


1978-1979 The Free Academy Psychopolis, The Hague, Holland
1977 The Royal Academy of The Hague, Holland
1974-1977 University of Southern California, Fine Arts, Los Angeles, California


He taught figure drawing, composition, and painting at the Otis/Parsons Institute in Los Angeles from 1990 to 1994

1998 Seminar for Artists, Athens College, Athens, Greece and the Seminar for Artists, Ministry of Greek Culture, Rhodes, Greece

2006-08 Newberry Workshop, Brooklyn, New York



2022 Pandora’s Box and Other Essays
2021 Newberry Color Theory
2021 Art: Modern, Postmodern, and Beyond: A Brief Overview of Why the Art World Has Become Trivial and A Manifesto
2021 Evolution Through Art


2013 Artist Michael Newberry on New Romanticism, 46 min, Atlas Summit
2008 Figure the Future, 66 min., The Atlas Society
2004 A Manifesto, 11 min., a video re-creation of a lecture I gave at Rockford College
2004 A 21st Century Renaissance, The Objectivist Center, Vancouver, Canada
2003 Innovation in Art, 16 min, Foundation for the Advancement of Art
2002 Transparency: A Key to Spatial Depth in Painting, Courage of Your Perceptions Conference (Satellite to the EC’s Vision Scientists’ Conference, Glasgow, Scotland
2002 Enlightened Hero and Heroine, The Objectivist Center, Los Angeles, California
2001 Detecting Metaphysical Value-Judgements in Art, The Objectivist Center, Johnstown, Pennsylvania
1999 Form, Formlessness, Violence, and Beauty: Concepts of the Sublime in Art, Institute for Objectivist Studies, Burlington, Vermont
1998 The Creative Process, Institute for Objectivist Studies, Boulder, Colorado



He created and organized the Foundation for the Advancement of Art, which held a conference “Innovation, Substance, Vision: The Future of Art” at the Pierre Hotel in Manhattan on October 6, 2003, featuring speakers: philosophers Stephen Hicks and David Kelley, vision scientist Jan Koenderick, and sculptor Martine Vaugel. The mission of the Foundation was to recognize and promote innovative, contemporary representational painters and sculptors.


2018 Meet Michael Newberry – Voyage LA Magazine | LA City Guide
2017 Mark Michael Lewis Interviews Michael Newberry, vid 90 min
2016 Jennifer Grossman Interviews Michael Newberry, vid 7 min
2008 Interview of Michael Newberry by Kaizen
2008 Architect Peter Cresswell Interviews Michael Newberry
2003 Interview of Michael Newberry by the Atlasphere: Michael Newberry on Art, Inspiration, and Love
1999 July, CNN International-The Art Club (television)
1998 Interview of Michael Newberry by The Objectivist Center: Satisfying the Soul


Others on Newberry

2020 Future of Art by Rick Barker
2018 Cresswell, Easter Through Art: Transform Lives
2018 Ascension Day Reviewed by Ted Keer
2010 Hicks Comment on Newberry’s God Releasing Stars into the Universe
2009 The Slipper Reviewed by Peter Cresswell
2007 Hicks and Cresswell on Newberry’s Icarus Landing
2006 More on Value Judgements in Art by Peter Cresswell
2006 Peter Cresswell’s Art: There’s More to it than Just Meets the Eye
2002 Post-Postmodern Art by Dr. Stephen Hicks “Archived copy”
1996 Newberry at To Dentro by Thodoris Archontopoulos, The Rodiaki

PoetsArtists Magazine 50 Great Figurative Artworks of 2017 edited by Steven DaLuze
PoetsArtists Magazine 100 Great Drawings of 2016 edited by Steven DaLuze

Artist’s Statement
2017 The Sublime


2023 Freedom to Go Anywhere, Figure | Ground Gallery, Seattle, Washington
2021 The Wave Series, Figure | Ground Gallery, Seattle, Washington
2017 Intimacy, White Cloud Gallery, Washington D.C.
2008-10 Permanent Exhibition and Other Shows, The Newberry Gallery, Santa Monica, California
2003 Travels, Akhriev/Hefferlin Gallery, Chattanooga, TN
1999 Intimate Stories, II Politecnico, Rome, Italy
1998  “Visions” November-Athens College, Athens, Greece
“Visions” August-Ministry of Greek Culture, Rhodes, Greece
“Visions” July-institute for Objectivist Studies, Summer Seminar, Boulder, Colorado
1995  Exploration of Light, November-Acte Expo Gallery, Brussels, Belgium
Exploration of Light, August-Municipality of Cultural Affairs, Rhodes, Greece
1993 Portrait of Experience, Gallery X, Hollywood, California
1992 Mourning and Rebirth, Traction Gallery; Los Angeles, California
1991 Work of Half a Lifetime, Traction Gallery, Los Angeles, California
1990 Ascension, The Figure Through Emotive Themes, Naissance Gallery, West Hollywood,California
1989 The Nude, Traction Gallery, Los Angeles, California
1989 Pastels of the Aegean, Traction Gallery; Los Angeles, California
1988 One Man Show, Traction Gallery; Traction Gallery, Los Angeles, California
1986 One Man Show, Gallery Daluiso, Palos Verdes, California
1985 One Man Show, Mandville Auditorium, U.C.S.D., La Jolla, California
1983 One Man Show, No Ho Gallery, New York City
1979 One Man Show, De Sluis Gallery, Leidsendam, Holland


2021 The Nude (and nothing butt), Figure | Ground Gallery, Seattle, Washington
2018  Land Escape, White Cloud Gallery, Washington D.C.
2010  Symbolic Still Life, Newberry Gallery, Santa Monica, CA
2009  Landscape with a Modern Edge, Newberry Gallery, Santa Monica, CA
2006  In the Buff, Java Street Studios, Brooklyn, New York
2004  Solo Creo II, Project Creo, The Arts Center, St. Petersburg, Florida
2002  Motor I, The New Museum of Contemporary Greek Art, Rhodes, Greece
1999  Caos, La Corte Di Boboli, Rome, Italy
1990  Angeles Press, “10th Anniversary Exhibition”. Associated American Artists, New York City