Newell's formal study of abstract art at the San Francisco Art Institute (B.F.A., M.F.A.) may seem misplaced as one looks at his life-sized bronze sculptures of horses, Angus bulls, and wild coyotes. Quite the contrary, Newell's early experiences with these gentle giants and wild animals led him in later years to begin to experiment with the animus in each one.
What resulted are magnetic forces of hand applied sculpting representing recognizable forms but with more of the energy and abstraction of life itself. Newell's artistic influences also stem from eighteenth century artist Francesco Jos? de Goya and his series of etchings depicting La Tauromaquia, or Art of the Bull Ring. The horns of Newell's life-size bull depict the beauty and savagery of the fighting bull.
Newell's smaller forms are transportable and somewhat whimsical in their approach. The sculpted animals ask to be han-dled, to be held. Smaller forms of Newell's work include elegant patina'd horses that take on the colors of pure thorough-breds. A series of coyotes with a rough hand lend a new life and persona to each pup.
One is sitting and standing his inquisitive nose forward something beyond, while the two standing are looking on with curiosity, perhaps waiting for direction.
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