Tony Foster Now

Foster's artworks will be in four art museum exhibitions in 2019, in addition to the large collection regularly on view at The Foster in Palo Alto. The Buffalo Bill Center of the West in Cody, Wyoming, is hosting Tony for an artist residency at its Whitney Western Art Museum this July. See below for details, listed in chronological order by opening dates, and make your plans to visit.


Heraclitus III—A Mini Journey by Tony Foster

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Presented at the Yale Center for British Art in New Haven, Connecticut
May 30–August 25, 2019 as part of
Tony Foster: Watercolor Diaries, Cornwall to Colorado

Heraclitus III has recently been acquired by the Yale Center for British Art in New Haven, Connecticut. A mini journey of Tony Foster’s art, this is a series of six paintings which comprise one artwork. It was executed in 2017 on Tony’s most recent painting expedition to the Grand Canyon.

The title of the Yale acquisition Heraclitus III was inspired by the famous philosopher’s statement that “no person ever steps in the same river twice.” Tony reflects that as a river is an ever-changing body so too are humans, and this series of paintings represents his third experience rafting down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon.

To showcase the acquisition and in honor of Tony’s long relationship with the Yale Center, he will be the subject of a small exhibition, Tony Foster: Watercolor Diaries, Cornwall to Colorado, presented at the Yale Center from May 30–August 25, 2019. Curated by Duncan Robinson, former director of the Yale Center for British Art and the Fitzwilliam Museum and Elisabeth Fairman, Chief Curator of Rare Books & Manuscripts at the Yale Center, the exhibition will include artworks from Tony’s first exhibition in the United States in 1985, which was at the Yale Center for British Art, as well as work painted in 2018 for an upcoming major project on Time.

June 8, 2019, 2 p.m. | From Death Valley to Everest: Making Art in Wild Places Tony Foster will discuss his many adventures over the years as an artist-explorer, explaining why he cares so deeply about the remaining uncultivated regions of our endangered planet. 

Colorado Camp 4 Mile 98  from the artwork  Heraclitus III  by Tony Foster, 2017

Colorado Camp 4 Mile 98 from the artwork Heraclitus III by Tony Foster, 2017


Exploring Idaho’s Copper Basin—Tony Foster’s 17th Journey

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Presented at the Gail Severn Gallery in Ketchum, Idaho
June 14–July 29, as part of
TONY FOSTER WATERCOLOUR DIARIES: GREAT BASIN & COPPER BASIN

During the summer of 2018 Tony returned to one of his favored places to paint: Idaho’s Rocky Mountains. Invited to exhibit at Gail Severn Gallery in Ketchum, Idaho in 2019, Tony spent a few weeks wandering and painting in Idaho’s Copper Basin, a wilderness area that is part of the Salmon-Challis National Forest with spectacular views of the Pioneer Mountains.

This exhibition will include 12 new works, which are all for sale, as well as a number of paintings from earlier journeys to Death Valley. A major diptych included in the exhibition, A Walk Across Death Valley (1991), chronicles one of Foster’s most difficult hikes in what is the lowest point of the Great Basin. It will hang alongside a painting of the White Mountains in California, the highest point of the Great Basin.

Tony Foster Watercolour Diaries: Great Basin & Copper Basin is included in a larger project titled Mirage: Energy and Water in the Great Basin, organized by Sun Valley Center for the Arts.

June 20, 2019, 6-7:30 p.m. |
The Community Library
Forty Years in the Wilderness
Join acclaimed artist Tony Foster for a look at his art, his process, and how his work in and around the Sun Valley area has influenced his other exhibitions and explorations abroad.  This talk will be held at The Community Library in Ketchum, Idaho.

July 5, 2019, 5-8 p.m. | Gallery Walk at Gail Severn Gallery

July 6, 2019, 10 a.m. | Artist’s Talk at Gail Severn Gallery

Map shows the Great Basin and Copper Basin regions of the western United States where Foster has worked.

Map shows the Great Basin and Copper Basin regions of the western United States where Foster has worked.

Castle Rock – sheltering from wind and rain in an Aspen grove  by Tony Foster, 2018

Castle Rock – sheltering from wind and rain in an Aspen grove by Tony Foster, 2018

Tony Foster painting Devil's Bedstead in the Pioneer Mountains, from the Copper Basin, Idaho, 2018. Photo by Rowan Halkes

Tony Foster painting Devil's Bedstead in the Pioneer Mountains, from the Copper Basin, Idaho, 2018. Photo by Rowan Halkes


Artist Residency at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West

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Whitney Western Art Museum in Cody, Wyoming
July 9–13, 2019

Foster heads to the Buffalo Bill Center of the West in Cody, Wyoming, this summer where he will be in residency at the Whitney Western Art Museum from July 9-13th. Foster will be giving daily talks with museum visitors, explaining his approach and process as he works to complete paintings from his time spent on the Green River in Utah.

In late June, just prior to the residency, Foster and a handful of Idaho-based companions will make their way down the Green River from the Gates of Lodore to Split Mountain. During the journey Tony will begin a series of paintings that reflect not only the river as it exists today but also reveal the river as a repository of fifty million year old fossils.

The Buffalo Bill Center of the West is one of the country’s premier institutions presenting, preserving and researching art and artifacts of the American West. This artist residency is organized by Karen McWhorter, Scarlett Curator of Western American Art, at the Whitney Museum.

Green River and Steamboat Rock  by Tony Foster, 2018

Green River and Steamboat Rock by Tony Foster, 2018


Artwork from Arid Lands—Tony Foster’s 5th Journey (1996)

Presented at the Tucson Museum of Art in Tucson, Arizona
October 19, 2019–February 9, 2020 as part of
The Western Sublime: Majestic Landscape Paintings of the American West

The Western Sublime: Majestic Landscape Paintings of the American West will feature paintings and photographs of the West from the latter half of the 19th century juxtaposed with works produced over a century later. This exhibition explores the intersection and significance of landscape imagery within the context of the time it was created as well as from the lens of the 21st century.


Artworks from Searching for a Bigger Subject—Tony Foster’s 12th Journey (2008)

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Presented at the Museum of Northern Arizona in Flagstaff, Arizona
November 16, 2019–February 17, 2020
Searching for a Bigger Subject

The Museum of Northern Arizona has reunited a majority of the paintings from Foster’s twelfth journey, Searching for a Bigger Subject, and will present it November 16, 2019- February 17, 2020 to honor the centennial anniversary of the Grand Canyon’s designation as a national park.

Searching for a Bigger Subject was first exhibited in 2008, touring from the Royal Cornwall Museum in Truro to the Royal Watercolour Society in London, Gerald Peters Galleries in New York, Dallas and Santa Fe and finally to the Phoenix Art Museum. Foster’s goal was to “contrast the world’s two most powerful subjects—Mt. Everest and the Grand Canyon.” And Foster’s intention then seems as relevant now, more than a decade later: “…despite a world overloaded with imagery, certain places still retain the power to inspire awe and wonder.”

Foster with his unfinished painting of Everest from Ngozumba above Gokyo, Nepal, 2005. 17,600 ft / 5,370 m. Photo by Mike Nathan

Foster with his unfinished painting of Everest from Ngozumba above Gokyo, Nepal, 2005. 17,600 ft / 5,370 m. Photo by Mike Nathan