Resides in New York
Wells grew up in Boston, MA. He was a professor of Art History at Northeastern University for 30 years; then adjunct Prof. of Art at New York University before teaching at University of New Mexico in Santa Fe and Taos. He studied in Europe after being awarded the Joslin Fellowship, after graduating from School of the Boston Museum of Fine Art.
His work is in Museum of TelAviv, Israel . Robert's piece "Red Moon", painted in 50s, is in the Boston Museum of Fine Arts permanent collection.
Wells does not consciously select a color-shape, as he listens intently to that musical passage or solo, that excites or stimulates his color response, but he does consciously select the colors or tonalities attuned to the music he is hearing. Just as the music is selected by his mood, that mood often determines what colors he hears/sees. He is in a sense hypnotized by the colors he is hearing and “seeing” in the music, almost entranced in shape selection and placement on the waiting canvas. People viewing his finished work say they experience a sense of light and color all in motion when looking at the color-shapes, as if the painting has truly expressed the sounds of music.The color -shapes become many things to the perceptive viewer, but they began as patches and daubs of color seen in the musical sounds from a string section or from brass instruments, or a solo flute. They essentially are pure abstractions derived from emotion, not from an intellectual or rational process.