Don Nice was born in Visalia, California in 1932 and died on March 4, 2019 in Cortlandt, NY. After receiving his Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree at University of Southern California, Nice earned his Master of Fine Arts from Yale University School of Art, New Haven, CT. Nice taught at the School of Visual Arts, New York, NY for many years and starting in 1982 was the artist-in-residence at Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH.
Museums exhibiting Nice’s work in their permanent collections include Delaware Art Museum, Wilmington, Minneapolis Institute of Art, Museum of Modern Art and Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY, Walker Art Center, and Arnhems Museum, Holland. Select solo exhibits presented since 1980 include Peaceable Kingdom, Beasts and Demons, Newport Harbor Art Museum, Newport Beach, CA, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Palm Springs Desert Museum, Palm Springs, CA, Views Over America and A Feast for the Eyes, Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY and Animals! Animals! Animals!, Stamford Museum, CT. In 1963, Nice won the Ford Foundation Purchase Award. Noteworthy commissions include the wall murals at National Fine Arts Commission, Lake Placid, NY and the Art in Architecture Project, Veterans Administration, White River Junction, NY.
Nice gained recognition as a New Realist painter in the early 1960s. Realistic renderings of packaged and processed items are very large, detailed studies of the optical image. Close-ups of light reflections on plastic wrap or glass reveal a beauty even in commercial objects. His illusionistic still lifes are artificial arrangements of foods and grocery items or synthetic objects such as tennis shoes. Nice’s final work continued the depiction of single items, often combining media and including new subjects.