Don Nice was born in Visalia, California, in 1932. He already opened his first solo exhibition in 1946, when he was only 14 years of age. He absolved studies in painting at the University of Southern California and Yale University, which he completed in 1964 with a Master of Fine Arts. The artist passed away in 2019.
His most important inspiration came from his teacher Alex Katz. Before that, his creative work as an artist was already shaped strongly by stays in Florence, Paris and Austria. In 1958 he attended the International Summer Academy, which was directed by Oskar Kokoschka that year. Since then Don Nice has referred to the latter’s work as one of the most influential sources of inspiration for his own creative work as an artist.
Since the 1960s, Don Nice has established himself internationally as one of the most important representatives of the New Realists and Pop Art. He has contributed new message content by means of his special focus on realism. Besides American (pop) culture, in his works he also makes reference to themes that are critical or of current interest.
In his painting, pictorial motifs include American products and everyday objects such as sneakers, Coke bottles or cigarette packets as well as fauna and flora, which appear singly in his pictorial worlds as well as in cross-thematic combinations.
Again and again he succeeds in visualising the interplay between Nature, product and consumption in his art. His special fascination focuses on the “thingness” of “things”, clearly depicting seemingly unimportant or everyday objects that harbour important ideas and traditions of American culture in particular.
His works have already been on display in numerous solo exhibitions and can be found internationally in important private as well as public collections. In addition to many others, the three large and influential museum collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art as well as Museum of Modern Art in New York are especially worthy of mention. Just recently one of his works was sold at an auction of the international auctioneers Christie’s in New York for far more than the estimated price.