Brown’s Bell Gallery to Present Walter Feldman: A Memorial Exhibition

Wednesday, September 05, 2018


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Work by Walter Feldman PHOTO: Brown University

The David Winton Bell Gallery at Brown University is set to present the “Walter Feldman: A Memorial Exhibition.”

The exhibit will feature numerous works by the Feldman, a longtime Brown visual art professor who passed away in 2017.

“War and the Holocaust cast a long shadow over Feldman’s work. However, between these two works, there are many more that testify to the joy that he found in family and nature, poetry and music, and teaching and the sustenance that his artistic practice provided,” said Bell Gallery Director and exhibition curator Jo-Ann Conklin.

The exhibition will be on view from Sept. 8 to Oct. 21, and art historian and critic Donald Kuspit will give a lecture on Feldman’s work at an opening reception on Friday, Sept. 14. at 5:30 p.m.

The Exhibition

The exhibition begins with a painting Feldman completed in 1946, a macabre image of a skeleton-faced soldier made shortly after he returned from service as a U.S. Army infantryman during WW-II.

That war is also referenced in the most recent painting in the exhibition, “Memorial X,” painted 68 years later in 2014.

About Feldman

Feldman served on the Brown faculty from 1953 until his retirement in 2007, teaching generations of students. 

Feldman’s interest in letterpress and illustrated books began in the 1980s, according to Conklin, and in 1990 he founded Ziggurat Press. Through that press, he produced an extensive body of small-edition books, including volumes made in collaboration with distinguished poets such as the late Brown faculty members C. D. Wright and Michael Harper and others.

In 2012, Feldman said he considered his artwork to be visual accompaniments rather than illustrations of the poems, and that his process was to read the poems, wait and create the artwork later, enabling his memory to be “charged by some kind of vision.”

Feldman also made personal books, including one featuring poems written by his six-year-old grandniece, and a memoir of the home he shared with his wife, Barbara, in Little Compton


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