photo credit: Mark Heayn
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Palm Art Award Nominee 2016 

Nominee Palm Art Award 2016

by Juliko Gotte, Curator

Palm Art Award 2016

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Wilbur M Reeling - Personal Life


Artist’s Statement

In my art I have endeavored to develop a unique style, communicating the marking of the surface as cerebral, emotional thought as a form. It is this emotional link that makes art worth creating for me. My unique style is one that is said by Jay McKean Fisher, Ph.D., Deputy Direct for Curatorial Affairs, Baltimore Museum of Art "…to have been similarly observed by quotes of the works of other famous abstract expressionists such as the dripping art of Jackson Pollock, in the more precise drawing of shapes by Joan Miró, or the Theorist Abstract Art of Wassily Kandinsky, but is never a duplication of any other artist's search for truth and substance in my original art…"

My Abstract art is an alternative way for me to express my visual language of form, color and line to create a composition that places greater emphasis on a visual sensation than on a depiction of recognizable, realistic objects. There are no photographs, sketches or drawings to guide me, just my thoughts. Most of my painting is done using pigmented paints that I hand grind and mix with special mediums to form my own unique color palette. When completed, my full signature is added to each painting as legal proof of its originality. I also add my artist's original Chop Mark and my hand made, hand pressed embossed Chinese calligraphy ideogram symbol of "Guang", meaning to ramble, in which first generation Abstract Expressionists saw calligraphic fluidity of great poetic suggestiveness. As I consider myself a third generation Abstract artist, my art has contained this Guang symbol since January 1, 2000, when my artistic language was recognized in a one person exhibition by Daniel C. Nusbaum, Ph.D., Director of the Delaplaine Gallery.

Abstraction itself has been my subject matter for decades. Not an easily understood expression of painting, the observers must be able to comprehend and struggle for meaning in what is said, what is implied, and what is never completely described. In my work I strive to satiate the uncomplicated visual senses as well as complex intellectual challenges of all who observe, whether a layperson or potentate. All individuals can enjoy the beauty of my art. Every time one revisits my work, the conversation continues with new meanings, new depths, new answers and discovery.

Searching for my artist's voice through the struggle of self-discovery and using a unique style of painting, my objective has been to transmit my expression for the observer to visualize my experience and to share my same feelings … like déjà vu for the viewer. I strive to communicate the complexities of mind and spirit in a way that pushes the viewers' perceptions inward in order for them to consider a never explored direction.

Artist's Biography

Wilbur M. Reeling is an artist and painter, born in Baltimore, Maryland. He attended the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) in Baltimore, Maryland studying the fine arts of painting and drawing from 1964 - 1966 and 1969. At MICA he studied under the best, including famed painter Raoul Middleman, who taught him drawing, and Albert Sangiamo, (considered to be one of the best portrait and life-drawing teachers in the nation), for drawing and painting. His original Abstract Art painting instructor was MICA's Lila Katzen. Mrs. Katzen was also a student of Hans Hofmann, one of the World's most famous abstract painters and teachers at both his NYC and Provincetown schools in the 1950's. Mrs. Katzen realized Wilbur M. Reeling's potential as an Abstractionist and took him under her wing to mentor. From that point on he excelled in abstraction. Under the tutelage of Lila Katzen, Reeling has become one of the long time dedicated explorers of the principles of pure abstraction.

His fine art studies at MICA and painting career was interrupted by the Vietnam War when he was drafted. Instead, Reeling enlisted in the US Army to attend the US Army's Combat Motion Picture and 35mm Cinematography School. He also attended and completed the Leica School of Photography in Wetzler, Germany. He served in Germany as an Artist and Cinematographer with the famous 69th Signal Photo Company and was honorably discharged. For an extended period Reeling remained in Western Europe and North Africa working in photography, film production and TV until after suffering with complications of a weakened diabetic condition that forced him to abandon the film and TV world and resumed his fine art work and painting career in Baltimore, Maryland. His most recent works synthesize his interest in the first generation of Abstract Expressionists with his paintings and style compared to the works of Jackson Pollack, Joan Miró, and Wassily Kandinsky.

Currently he resides on Maryland's Eastern Shore. Among his painting exhibitions are Anita Pegini-Räber Gallery, Rehoboth Beach, Delaware ~ The American Contemporary Gallery, Annapolis, Maryland. ~ The Ralls Collection, Washington D.C. ~ Beverly Libby Gallery "B" Tula Art Center, Atlanta, Georgia ~ Delaplaine Art Gallery, Mount Saint Mary's College, Emmitsburg, Maryland ~ The Walter's Art Museum, BisTroia ~ The InterContinental Hotel, Harbor Court 5 Star Gallery Baltimore Inner Harbor, Baltimore, Maryland ~ Galerie d'art THĒS Passy Trocadéro, Paris, France ~ Mt. Vernon Gallery, Baltimore, Maryland ~ MICA Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore, Maryland. His work has been published in ArtNews, Art in America, Washington DC Paper, Art Business News, The Baltimore Sun and Style Magazine. His paintings are in dozens of private and corporate collections.


Mount Vernon Gallery One Man Show Honors Angels Erotiques   Fire Water Earth Air and the 5th Element Quintessence

Mount Vernon Gallery

Welcome to the new art of the next Millennium, the work of the artist, Wilbur M. Reeling.

His art is poetry for the eyes, symbolic art for the sub-conscious, a time of escape and discovery into the interpretative translation of imagery.

Reeling's foundations start with a daring ferocity of new style; the mimicking of traditional representative figuration, the departure from disassociation of the given world and the beauty of subconscious symbolism, grace - wisdom - mercy - strength - peace - innocence - truth and hope. Reeling's art is a hidden complex of heightened feelings.

The consciousness starts to rearrange itself, rooting the art in Impressionism, visiting sub-conscious Jungian theory, dancing through the gardens of surrealistic circuses and taken to the Cosmos in a great revelation of quantum physics.

A rare artistic alchemy occurs within the viewers spiritual consciousness. A translation of overwhelming discovery arrives within and a celebration of the aesthetic Avant-garde Art futurism.

The eye is immediately delighted with the play of infused light and movement, extraordinary composition, and a masterful use of bright color. As the intellect engages, recognizing seemingly unrelated imagery; Angels, flags, trees or fetishes, this perfectly innocent work of art starts wrapping itself around you and drawing you into your own great personal discovery.

You realize that you have just experienced a style of art unique in it's embodiment of the ideals held in the Cosmos, ushering in the Millennial Shift.

An occurrence of connection. A celebration of pure emotion!

D. Justice, Director-1996
Mount Vernon Gallery
Baltimore Maryland




Millennial Shift Delaplaine Art Gallery Image Overload Delaplaine Art Gallery




American Contemporary Gallery

Annapolis, Maryland

"From the Heart" February 2009

Wilbur M. Reeling ~ Featured Artist

"Susquehanna Waltzing Trees" 2008 ©Wilbur M. Reeling $6500.00

35" x 47" watercolor & ink, Aquarelle Archival 330 gsm cold press


Wilbur M. Reeling

Wil’s paintings reflect the man. Diverse and passionate, he is in love with the romance and the sensual appeal that life offers in each new experience. One can see he loves his role as your visual chef, guiding you through a joyful visual banquet. He savors each moment and tastes each bite and morsel. As he shares a special vision with you, his work will delight and enchant you for years to come.

Romance and passion mean many things, a range of moods that range from soft sensual tones to fiery vivid waves of high intense color and all represent that wide and fluid kaleidoscope of feeling the aware soul is open to. The diverse range of works in this show will reach out to a part of you. The work is unique as it all represents the side of us that registers how we feel. The works embrace the personal space that each of us keeps with these heartfelt works that reach out to you. This specially curated show is designed to touch your very soul and fill your heart.

John Bodkin -- director

American Contemporary Gallery

1851 McGuckian Street

Annapolis, MD 21401

Walter’s Orange Thicket, 2008,
watercolor and ink on Arches CP, 34.5” x 47”

Susquehanna Sticker Bushes, 2008,
watercolor and ink on Arches CP, 34.5” x 47”

Susquehanna Yellow Ice River, 2008, watercolor and ink on Arches CP, 34.5” x 47”


click images to view details


The Washington Paper June 28, 2002

"Passage of tears" 2002 by Wilbur M. Reeling
47½ x 31½ inches pigmented ink (s) & water-medium on 300 gsm
hand made DePonte Tamayo paper (diptych)
mounted on painted canvas 52½ x 36½ inches ~ price $8000.00

" The Ralls Collection's "Summer Show" may well set a new record for the most artworks hung in a gallery: 128 ---the exhibition offers little thematic unity. Still, with such an embarrassment of choices, it's hard not to uncover at least a few gems. Among the three noteworthy paintings is Wilbur Reeling's Technicolor drip painting Passage of Tears . . . several brightly lit landscapes in oil by Mark Doorman and Roger Winter's diminutive, Basquiat-influenced Graffiti. . ."

Louis Jacobson
-- Art Critic Review

On view from 11a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday, Sept. 14
1516 31st Street N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20007

Gallery Exhibitions


As we move from one millennium to another, the art of Wilbur M. Reeling takes us into the art of language and wrestles with the question of meaning for a new age. The language he deals with is not the symbolic verbal image of spoken or written language, but the fine art symbol of visual language. For that reason, any verbal introduction to his art is at best difficult, at worst impossible. In this doorway beyond modernism, beyond post-modernism and all the deconstructivism that has marked the end of the former age, his visual words construct a new communication. He places before us an entry into the complexities of mind and spirit, sense and nonsense, logic, illogic, intuition and sometimes almost brute confrontation. At that entryway, he gives us no direction signs save the almost enigmatic titles he has appended to his works, titles that seem to emerge from the works themselves, with the same complexity as the art work. We, the viewers, are set to the task of discovering meaning, probing the depths of his expression, to discover him, and, perhaps more importantly, to discover ourselves.

His works are not declarations. At the end of the twentieth century, we have frankly grown weary of artists who insist upon declaring in emphatic terms their view of the world. Instead, Wilbur M. Reeling initiates a conversation with the viewer, and that is the highest aspiration of the artist. His work is perennial because it does not have a definitive conclusion. Unlike the traditional story, with a beginning, middle and end, his work has a beginning, a middle, but not an end.

His art begins out of his varied experiences, from art school student, combat cinematographer, photographer, husband and father. His view of innocence in the gentle simplicity of his daughter Honor, and of crumbled innocence in his own failed health and marriage, his struggles for artistic recognition and an understanding of such varied encounters as with Paul Klee, Jackson Pollack and Vasily Kandinsky have all added to the formation of his language. But from the beginning, everything is new. His abstract-imagery is used as a tool to forge an understanding of the moments of his life, and of life itself, agony and delight, questions with only temporary answers, answers with only temporary meanings. The premise is both simple and incredibly complex: the stuff of life itself.

The middle is the conversation. It is, as he himself says, "an interactive experience between each viewer and the artist, one that pushes the viewers' perceptions to look within themselves, in a new, never explored direction." And what a conversation! The tangle of forms creates nonetheless an astounding unity in which the mind discovers its own need for order and understanding of the vagaries of the changing millennia. His insightful use of color, both brilliant and subtle, of line, rhythm and abstraction create a profound sense of vision for the mind to encounter its own need for a value and world discovery. And his simple, unaffected sense of design opens for us a view of the world as it is, not as he or we would wish it to be but rather a world full of delight and pain, satisfaction and dissatisfaction, fools and friends, reliability and errancy. We are reminded of the old Latin maxim: Caveat erro, let the wanderer beware. Once you enter into this conversation with Wilbur M. Reeling, you will discover truth, and a world that you have not before known.

Jacques Maritain, that insistent French philosopher, says that beauty is that in which the mind discovers itself. In Wilbur M. Reeling's art, we discover ourselves, and no higher accolade can be given any artist.

I have said that this art has a beginning, a middle but no end. Every time the viewer returns to the art work, the conversation continues, with new meanings, new depths, new answers. That is the enduring nature of his work. I am happy to welcome you to this selection of Wilbur M. Reeling's view of our labyrinthine world and the wondrous complexity of a Millennial Shift.

  Daniel C. Nusbaum, Ph.D.
Daniel C. Nusbaum is Director of the Delaplaine Gallery and
Chair of the Visual and Performing Arts at Mount Saint Mary's College in Emmitsburg, Maryland

Copyright ©2002-2011 Wilbur M. Reeling, Use of images prohibited without written permission of the artist.


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