David Shapiro: Transcendent Abstractions

December 08, 2019 - February 16, 2020

In the fall of 2016, FWMoA became the recipient of a generous gift of paintings and prints from the estate of David Shapiro intended to establish an archive of his work for future generations to know and enjoy. The gift is the largest in scope, size, and value in the history of the Fort Wayne Museum of Art, marking an era of unprecedented collections growth for this relatively young museum. This exhibition will feature selections of paintings by David Shapiro, a singular voice in late 20th century abstraction.’

Born in Brooklyn, New York in 1944, David Shapiro pursued a creative path early in his life. He studied at Pratt Institute and earned his MFA from Indiana University in 1968. Shapiro also attended the Skowhegan School of art in Maine and taught at several institutions including Barnard College in New York City and Parsons School of Design.

Shapiro worked primarily in series, creating multiple variations on a visual theme. His particular style of abstraction manifested in a subtle yet imposing presence in all his works, and this quiet power leads to a meditative experience with the artwork. Shapiro is known for his unique blend of influences and techniques, a personal style he never sacrificed in order to follow the hottest trends in the fickle contemporary art world. A complex man whose work embodies the monumentality of his native New York and the subtle beauty of Buddhism, which he practiced regularly, Shapiro has left behind a legacy that the art world has just begun to comprehend.