Reginald H. Neal Biography

Reginald H. Neal




Reginald H. Neal was an American painter and graphic artist, especially a printmaker, who is most famous for his op art works.

Reginald H. Neal was born in Leicester, England on May 20, 1909. In 1910 his family emigrated to the United States, moving to Decatur, Illinois. Neal studied at Yale University between 1929 and 1930 and Bradley Polytechnic Institute (now Bradley University) in Peoria, Illinois, where he got his B.A and he received his master's degree in art history from Chicago University in 1939.

Neal studied with P.R. McIntosh and Regionalist Grant Wood. Best known as a printmaker his early works reflected the realistic, regional compositions of his teachers throughout the 1940s. His work in the 1950s and1960s moved to abstraction, especially the new Optical Art.

His early Op art works explored optical elements that produced vibrating, flickering and pulsating effects. Neal participated in The Responsive Eye, (Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1965) and Optic Nerve: Perceptual Art of the 1960s (Columbus Museum of Art, Ohio, 2007).

Neal was a member of the Illinois Art Education Association. He exhibited at the Art Institute of Chicago in 1935; the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in 1936, 1938, and 1940; the American Artists for Victory in 1942; the Oakland Art Gallery in 1936; the Kearney Memorial Exhibition in Milwaukee, 1946; the Decatur A. Center, 1943 to 45; the Davenport Municipal Art Gallery in 1940 and 1942

Neal was a teacher as well. He taught at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, the University of Mississippi Escuela de Bellas Artes, Mexico and the Contemporaries Graphic Center, New York in 1956.

Works by Neal are included in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.; Princeton University, New Jersey; The Figge Art Museum, Illinois; and Brigham Young University, Utah.

Reginald Neal died in Alachua, Florida on February 29, 1992.