Born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1942, Don Wynn has a BFA from Pratt Institute and an MFA from Indiana University. He has been a Visiting Artist at many universities and institutions, including Yale University and the Art Institute of Chicago, and has received awards from the Elizabeth T. Greenshields Memorial Foundation, Montreal; the Fine Arts Work Center, Provincetown; and the New York State CAPS Program. Wynn’s active and diverse exhibition career began with the first of numerous New York City solo shows in 1964. In 1970, his work first received international recognition in the Whitney Museum’s landmark Twenty-Two Realists exhibition. In 1978, he was the first living artist to be given a solo exhibition at the Adirondack Museum. In 1995, the Metropolitan Museum of Art acquired one of his oils for its Twentieth Century Collection (the first Adirondack resident artist so honored since Rockwell Kent). Wynn was included in the recent Vermont group exhibitions Picasso to Warhol: Paintings from the Sixties and Seventies, at the Elizabeth C. Wilson Museum, Manchester, and in As Others See Us, at the Brattleboro Museum and Art Center, in company with Alice Neel and Chuck Close, among others. His work was recently exhibited in New York City at D. Wigmore Fine Art, and in 2010, his work was included in the National Academy of Design’s 185th Annual Invitational Exhibition of Contemporary American Art, in New York City. He has been reviewed in The New York Times, Art News, Arts, The New Yorker, Art International, and many other publications and is included in all major fine arts reference volumes in the United States and abroad, including Who’s Who in American Art.
Although Wynn’s work was classified as New Realism at the start of his career, many reviewers have since noted that his paintings are distinct from this movement. Rather than being literal depictions of subjects, they are interpretive, at times presenting myths in secular guise, often in a subliminal or allusive way. Wynn’s formal means include the use of highly developed, complicated surfaces, which are critical to achieving the final visual and psychological result.