“We all have a shared humanity. Should any of my pictures survive for the next three hundred years, I would hope that people in that distant future see, in my art, how we felt about each other in the twenty-first century, and how we felt about being alive. I would also hope that those future viewers recognize something of themselves in my work.”


    William Oberst holds an MFA in painting from Stony Brook University and a Ph.D. in philosophy from Claremont Graduate University. He taught painting and drawing in the Stony Brook Art Department for more than a decade, as well as courses in the history of ideas for the university's Honors College. In addition, he directed its Living Learning Centers organization and was the founding director of its University Scholars program for high-achieving students, for which he was awarded the Distinguished Faculty Service Award in 2002. Selected one of Today's Masters by Fine Art Connoisseur magazine, his paintings are in collections in Italy, Canada, and the United States. He maintains a studio-residence in downtown North Adams, Massachusetts, where he continues his art practice and research in the foundations of representational art.


    Atlantic Gallery (on leave)
    548 W 28th Street, #540
    New York, NY 10001
    (212) 219-3183


    “The Painter’s Vision” film presentation, The Representational Art Conference, Leeuwarden, Netherlands, May 1-4, 2018.

    "What the Painted Figure Says About the Artist,” The Representational Art Conference, Miami, Florida, November 8-11, 2017.

    "Naturalizing Subjectivity and Qualitative Richness" (online title: "Visual Subjectivity and Consciousness"), The Science of Consciousness 2017 conference, La Jolla, California, June 5-10, 2017.

    "Representational Painting, First-Person Reporting and Consciousness," The Science of Consciousness 2016 conference, Center for Consciousness Studies, The University of Arizona, Tucson, April 25-30, 2016.

    "Representational Painting and Consciousness," The Representational Art Conference, California Lutheran University, Ventura, California, November 1-4, 2015.


    "Artists of the Thursday Chinese Dinner Group," Berkshire Art Museum, North Adams, MA (2022)

    "New Beginnings: The Contemporary Realism of William Oberst," From Russia With Art Gallery, Cambridge, MA (2016)

    "The Mill Children," 1 Berkshire Square Gallery, Adams, MA (2016); 5 Hoosac Gallery, Adams, MA (2014); Cherry & Webb Gallery, Fall River, MA (2013); Charles River Museum of Industry and Innovation, Waltham, MA (2012); Bennington Museum, Bennington, VT (2011); Eclipse Mill Gallery, North Adams, MA (2011)

    "Then and Now," Berkshire Artists Museum, North Adams, MA (2015)

    "That '70s Show," Berkshire Artists Museum, North Adams, MA (2015)

    "Canvas and Study: Oil Paintings and Gouaches by William Oberst," Discourse Gallery, North Adams, MA (2014)

    "Figuring In," Berkshire Artists Museum, North Adams, MA (2014)

    "The Paintings of William Oberst," solo exhibition, Touch Art Gallery, Cambridge, MA (2014)

    Inaugural exhibition, Galerie Reynard, Williamstown, MA (2013-14)

    "Watercolor--Layered Light," Gallery North, Setauket, NY (2011)

    “Responsive Readings,” Atlantic Gallery, New York, NY (2011)

    "Presences From The 21st Century: Paintings By William Oberst," solo exhibition, Atlantic Gallery, New York, NY (2010)

    “Water,” Atlantic Gallery, New York, NY (2010)

    “Finding Work: Representing Labor in Contemporary Art,” The Gallatin Galleries, New York, NY (2009)

    Two-person show with Wendy James, Works And Days Gallery, North Adams, MA (2009)

    “Sic Transit Gloria: The End of the Road,” Atlantic Gallery, New York, NY (2009)

    “All Cape Cod” open juried exhibition, Cape Cod Art Association, Barnstable, MA (2009)

    Invitational exhibition, Gallery North, Setauket, NY (2008)

    Faculty Exhibition 2008, University Art Gallery, Staller Center for the Arts, Stony Brook University (2008)

    Solo exhibition, James Patrick Gallery, Wiscasset, ME (2008)

    Two-person show with Mary Webb, Wish Rock Studio, Shelter Island Heights, NY (2008)

    Solo exhibition, Becket Arts Center, Becket, MA (2008)

    “Ceiling for the Landscape: Trees,” Gallery North, Setauket, NY (2008)

    Invitational exhibition, Gallery North, Setauket, NY (2007)

    Solo exhibition, “William Oberst: Watercolors,” Islip Art Museum, Islip, NY (2007)

    “Links: A Multi-Media Collaboration Featuring One Poet, Eight Visual Artists, and Thirteen Musicians,” Roanoke Vineyards, Riverhead, NY (2007)

    Three-person exhibition with Sue Contessa and Carole Jay, Gallery North, Setauket, NY (2007)

    Invited artist, group show, The Tatistcheff Gallery, New York, NY (2005)

    “This Dream, America,” Jeanie Tengelsen Gallery, Art League of Long Island, Dix Hills, NY (2005)

    “Marriage,” SAC Gallery, Stony Brook University (2004)

    “Face to Face: Two Hundred Years of Figurative Art on Long Island,” The Long Island Museum, Stony Brook, NY (2003)

    Solo exhibition, Office of the Provost, Stony Brook University (2001)


    “The Columns II,” a public art project under the auspices of Art About Town, North Adams, MA. Work completed June-September, 2013. Consists of paintings covering concrete support columns under the Route 2 Bypass in North Adams, on the highway’s west side. Involved an art teacher at Greylock Elementary School in North Adams, a student attending Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts in North Adams, and school children, teachers, and parents. Depicts fabric patterns produced at the Arnold Print Works mill (currently home of the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art in North Adams) and children who worked at the mill during the late 19th century.

    “The Columns I,” first phase of the public art project described above. Work completed May-September 2012. Consists of paintings covering support columns under the Route 2 Bypass in North Adams, MA, on the highway’s east side. Depicts fabric dolls produced at the Arnold Print Works mill.


    Robert M. MacNamara Foundation Summer 2007 Residency, Westport Island, Maine (July 20-August 30, 2007)

    The Artists’ Enclave at I-Park, East Haddam, CT (May 30-June 29, 2005)

    The Artists’ Enclave at I-Park, East Haddam, CT (August 7-21, 2006)


    Massachusetts Laborers Benefit Funds, "Sea Wall," (2019)

    Massachusetts Laborers Benefit Funds, "Laborers, Amherst" (2017)

    Scott Leemon, triple portrait (2007)

    Anthony Comi, “Dancing Couple II” (1997)