Kenton Nelson is producing the landscape of our longings. Here paradise has not been lost.”

-Jim Heimann

Kenton Nelson was born and raised in Los Angeles, CA. He attended Long Beach State University and Otis Parsons Art Institute, and for the last 40 years has had his art studio in Pasadena, CA. He  has been on the faculty of the Otis Parsons Art Institute in Los Angeles and the Academy of Art in San Francisco.


Nelson traces his interest in painting back to his great uncle, Roberto Montenegro,  renowned Mexican muralist and Modernist. The style of Nelson’s paintings have their origins in American Scene painting, Regionalism, and the work of the WPA artists of the 1930’s.


Nelson paints a distinctly California regionalism to idealize the ordinary with the intention of engagement, using the iconic symbols and styles of his lifetime in a theatrical style to make leading suggestions, not unlike the advertisements of his youth.


Nelson’s paintings have been featured five times on the cover of The New Yorker magazine. Recent exhibitions of Nelson’s work have been enjoyed from Los Angeles to Stuttgart, Zurich, and Salzburg. His oil paintings of figures, objects, and architecture have, as one critic said, “single handedly resurrected the sun drenched optimism of New Deal American Painting.”

Copyright 2020 Caldwell Snyder Gallery

All rights reserved.




341 Sutter Street
San Francisco, California 94108

Monday - Saturday, 10 - 6

Sunday, by appointment





1328 Main Street
St. Helena, California 94574

Monday - Saturday, 10 - 6

Sunday 11 - 5


Close Neighbors

oil on canvas 7 x 10 inches 190588