Frank Wimberley


The life of my work involves it’s texture and it’s
motion, something I learned from one of my instructors, professor James Porter, an accomplished portrait artist who convinced me that there is a point on the painter’s canvas where the eye focuses and begins it’s travels so that you follow it’s path upwards and elsewhere until it returns to the beginning, it’s starting point, until you have seen all which the painting has to offer. An abstract painting does that until it’s motion emerges, and draws you into it, until you are convinced it is whole.
— Frank Wimberley

artist bio

Painter Frank Wimberley was born in Pleasantville, New Jersey in 1926. He currently resides in New York City and Sag Harbor with his wife, Juanita, where he continues to work.

Frank Wimberley studied with James Porter, Lois Mailou and James Wells at Howard University. While studying at Howard, he played jazz which lead to a friendship with musicians such as Miles Davis, Ron Carter and Wayne Shorter.

Wimberley describes himself as an Abstract Expressionist, an artistic tradition established over sixty years ago in the Long Island studios. Wimberley applies his paints shade by shade, brushstroke by brushtroke, to create what he has termed a, “controlled accident.” Wimberley slowly arrives at a composition of overwhelming color, endless depth, size, and palpable texture that demands an emotional response from the viewer.Evoking both John Coltrane’s surging sheets of music and Miles Davis’s delicately woven tapestries of sound, the paintings create labyrinths of melodies that effortlessly float to the surface and then are submerged in planes of movement, texture, and color. Creating a communion matching dispassionate intellect with wildly primal instincts, the works gain particular impact from their tones of thoughtfully cerebral ruminations that offer little overt narrative yet also never descend into incomprehensible or convoluted esoterica.

Over the years, Wimberley experimented with many forms of abstraction- as well as working with sculpture and photography- before attaining a style that, although it clearly follows in the steps of the Abstract Expressionists, is distinctly his own. He changed from oils to acrylic so he could see the end product quickly and then started to use a thick impasto. “I like using a big, floppy brush to get the movement in the paint,” said Mr. Wimberley, who also does a lot of woodwork, which meant that his small studio in Queens was always full of sawdust, “ so I added the sawdust to the paint to give it more body.” 

Frank Wimberley’s paintings have an excitement and energy that breaks the boundaries of the canvas. His art exudes depth and passion that invigorates the viewer. One cannot help but be drawn into the lushness of the paint and the way that it is masterfully handled by this amazing artist.
— Eric Ernst


Selected CV

Selected Solo Exhibitions

The Black History Museum, Hempstead, New York, Frank W. Wimberley, 1973

Acts of Art Gallery, New York, Collage, Drawing, Paintings, 1974

Union Theological Seminary, New York, Choices in Abstract Expression, 1974

Spectrum IV Gallery, New Rochelle, New York, Works On Paper, 1985

Langston Hughes Cultural Center, Corona, New York, An Alternative Perspective, 1987

Fine Arts Gallery, Long Island University, Southampton, New York, Abstract Paintings, 1989

Benton Gallery, Southampton, New York, Three Solo Exhibitions, 1990

Benton Gallery, Southampton, New York, Approaches to Abstraction, 1992

AlleyCat Gallery, New York, Recent Works by Frank Wimberley, 1993

Rathbone Gallery, The Sage Colleges, Albany, New York, Frank Wimberley: Recent Works, 1993

Cinque Gallery, New York, Wimberley, 1994

Gallery Authentique, Roslyn, New York,New Paintings, 1994

Bomani Gallery, San Francisco, Recent Paintings, 1995

Firehouse Gallery, Nassau Community College, Garden City, New York, Frank Wimberley, 1995

Gallery Authentique Roslyn, New York, Paintings, Collages & Wood Constructions, 1995

June Kelly Gallery, New York, Paintings, 1997

Arlene Bujese Gallery, East Hampton, New York, Paintings Awarded the Pollock-Krasner Grant for 1998, 1998

Center Gallery, Adelphi University, Garden City, New York, Then and Now, 2000

Shelnutt Gallery, Rensselaer, Troy, New York, An Exhibition of Painting for Black History Month, 2001

June Kelly Gallery, New York, Compositions for Matter, 2001

Port Washington Library Gallery, Port Washington, New York, Gestures, 2002

Alpan Gallery, Huntington, New York, Paintings and Constructions, 2003

The Heckscher Museum, Huntington, New York, Art and Soul, 2004

Opalka Gallery, The Sage Colleges, Albany, New York, 35 Year Overview, 2004

Ferregut Tower Gallery, Southampton, NY, Tone Poems, 2005

Ferregut Tower Gallery, Southampton, New York, Melodic Impasto, 2006

June Kelly Gallery, New York, From Here to There, 2006

Spanierman Gallery, East Hampton, NY, Frank Wimberley, 2008

Spanierman Modern, New York, Frank Wimberley, 2009


Selected Museum Collections

Art Institute of Chicago, IL

Islip Art Museum, East Islip, NY

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY

John Hoskins Estate, Atlanta University, GA

Cleary Gottlieb, Steen, and Hamilton, NY

Coca-Cola Bottling Company, Philadelphia, PA

Pepsico, Purchase, NY

Pitney Bowes, Stamford, CT

Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, NY

Time Warner, New York

Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven CT