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Nichols Family (The Masters)

by William Bennett Berry

Acrylic on canvas
Dimensions: 96 x 120
Gift of the artist, 2007

Nichols Family (The Masters) by William Bennett Berry

The Artwork

W. Bennett Berry painted the five figures in this composition from a family photo from the 1920s. At the time of this painting's creation, he was exploring the relationship between figurative painting and advertising design. Noting a correlation between the seeming state of repose of the figures and the sport of golf, Berry added the Masters Tournament logo to the lower left corner of the painting. In an exploration of typography and advertising design, he added the word 'AZALEA' in reference to the famed flowers that bloom at Augusta National Golf Club. The artist reinforces the idea of the azaleas and golf course through the predominant use of red and green. The artwork is a diptych, painted across two canvases.

The Artist

W. Bennett Berry studied at Pont-Aven School of Contemporary Art in Brittany, France. Berry received his Bachelor of Fine Arts from Denison University in Ohio and his Master of Fine Arts from the University of Oklahoma in 2002 and 2005, respectively. His work has been shown in solo and group exhibitions in California, New York, Kentucky, and France. His work has appeared in numerous publications including Southwest and California Homes. Known for painting in several distinct aesthetics, his work ranges from fauve/impressionist/post-impressionist inspired landscapes, to minutely detailed city scenes, to large-scale figurative pieces that are more reminiscent of the baroque period with a pop art influence.

Berry's work is included in numerous public and private collections throughout the nation such as MidFirst Bank (Oklahoma), the Muckenthaller Museum and Cultural Center (California), Denison University (Ohio), and the University of Oklahoma Health and Sciences Center.