The Poetic Landscape: Paintings by Fred Staloff

Main Galleries: September 23-October 31

On loan from the Butler Institute of American Art, The Poetic Landscape: Paintings by Fred Staloff represents the artist’s maturing point-of-view in an ever-changing world over the course of six decades.

Born in New Jersey in 1924, Fred Staloff had planned to become an engineer but was sidetracked by World War II. While in the Army, he developed moral objection to science, specifically the atomic bomb, and abandoned his intended career path for one in the arts. He studied painting and sculpture at Newark School of Fine and Industrial Art with Hans Weingaertner and Reuben Nakian, and continued studies in Paris under the GI Bill in 1949.

By 1956, Staloff had dedicated himself entirely to painting.  Inspired by his study in France, he completed two paintings included in the exhibit that are key to understanding the development of his later works; “Interior with Armoire” and “Blue Landscape with Hill”.  Dr. Lou Zona, Director of the Butler Institute of American Art, described the first, inspired by the wardrobe dominating French homes, as “introspective poetry”. The dark interior has a “mysterious and dense atmosphere” that pulls the viewer inward, into the quiet of the room. In contrast, “Blue Landscape with Hill” transforms an open vista into an imagined expanse of dancing color and light. This type of painting is what the French call évasion, an escape from the troubles and problems of human existence into a dream.  

Staloff is a member of the Audubon Artists where he won the William Myerowitz Award in 1991, the Elaine & James Hewitt in 1994, the Michael M. Engel Award in 1995, the Stefan Hirsch Memorial Award in 1997 and the Ralph Fabri Medal in 2000. He is also a member of Allied Artists of America where he received the Joe & Emily Lowe Award in 1994 as well as the Allied Artists Gold Medal of Honor in 1997.

In 1996, The Butler Institute of American Art presented a retrospective exhibition of Staloff’s work. The James A. Michener Museum in Doylestown, PA also presented a similar retrospective exhibition in 1997.

A public reception was held Friday, September 26 from 5-7 p.m. Admission is free.