Berkeley College Presents an Exhibit by Avel deKnight - Outstanding and Provocative American Artist

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Contact: Ilene Greenfield
Director of Media Relations
973-278-5400, ext. 1-5122



In celebration of Black History Month, Berkeley College is presenting the artwork of Avel deKnight at its Midtown Manhattan Gallery, 3 East 43rd Street, New York City.  The exhibit is on display from February 1 through 28—Monday through Friday—from 9:00 am to 7:30 pm and on Saturdays from 9:30 am to 3:00 pm.   An artist’s reception will be held on Thursday, February 5, from 5:30 to 7:00 pm. 

Mr. deKnight was born and educated in New York City to parents from the Caribbean Islands of Barbados and Puerto Rico.  He later studied at the Ecole des Beaux Arts, the Académie de la Grande Chaumière and the Académie Julian in Paris.  In the 1950s he began writing as an art critic for various French and American publications.  His mature paintings and drawings frequently included many archetypal images.  As the psychoanalyst Carl Jung might have observed, Mr. deKnight demonstrated his appreciation for the power and wisdom of the collective unconscious through his art.  He was an instructor at the Art Students League of New York, an academician at the National Academy of Design and an instructor at the Academy School of Fine Arts from 1981 until his untimely death in 1995.

Mr. deKnight showed his work in individual exhibitions including Lacarda Gallery, New York, NY; Benson Gallery, Bridgehampton, NY; University of Pittsburgh, Johnstown, PA; and the University of Richmond, VA.  Group exhibitions included the Village Art Center, New York, NY; Gallery 10, New Hope, PA; the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, New York, NY; and the Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, RI.  

“We lost a great talent when Avel—an outstanding and provocative artist—died,” said Robert Keiber, Curator, Midtown Manhattan and Brooklyn galleries.  “Colleagues and family members continue to mourn him.”  They include his cousins, Sunchita Tyson of North Salem, NY; Stephen Tyson, an art professor at Schenectady County Community College and well-known artist and lecturer, and Neil deGrasse Tyson, the director of the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History and host of the TV show “Cosmos.” His cousin-in-law, husband of Sunchita, is Cyril Tyson, a former New York City Commissioner and one of the founders of the 100 Black Men of America.

Sunchita and Stephen Tyson will provide an introduction and talk about Mr. deKnight and his work during the artist’s reception on February 5.

“His family knows that Avel’s talent will live on through his work,” added Mr. Keiber.  “And, based on my association with William H. Burgess, III, President, Burgess Fine Arts Collection, New York, NY, I know that it’s the right decision to exhibit Avel’s artwork at Berkeley College and represent Black History Month.”  

For more information about the exhibit and Mr. deKnight’s collection of works, e-mail Robert Keiber at or call 212-252-2065.


Photo Caption: Still Life with Column, one of the paintings from the estate of Avel deKnight on display at the Berkeley College Midtown Manhattan Gallery, 3 East 43rd Street, New York City, from February 1 through 28.               

To view a high-resolution version of this photo, visit


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