Bill Alpert

Abstract artist Bill Alpert was born in the Bronx to Russian-Polish parents in 1934. The son of a drug store owner, Alpert initially studied to follow in his father’s footsteps and become a pharmacist but after completing his doctorate in the field, quickly realized that his calling in life was of a more artistic nature. In 1963, he made the decision to go back to school in order to study painting at UCLA, eventually receiving his Master’s in Fine Art under the tutelage of Modernists, Arthur Levine and John Paul Jones.

Alpert made his exhibition debut at the Czeka Co-op Gallery, Los Angeles in 1965 and only three years later, relocated to New York where he quickly began showing his works. His focus during the 1970s leaned towards the experimental, creating painted wood constructions and abstract paintings as well as developing alternative drying techniques for pigments. In 1977, Alpert took part in a group exhibition at the Wade Gallery in Washington, D.C. and the following year, was given a solo show at the same gallery. His works were also included as part of an exhibition of the Brutten-Herrick Collection at the Ben Shahn Gallery of William Patterson College in New Jersey.

By the 1980s, Alpert had become disillusioned with the commercialization of art galleries and though he did return for a few exhibitions in the 1990s and ultimately a group show in 2011, he largely declined invitations to show his works. Painting, though, remained a daily exercise while professionally, he turned his attention to teaching. For decades, he held a position at the Cooper Union School of Art while also offering instruction at Parsons School of Design, Pratt Institute and the School of Visual Arts, additionally offering classes to international groups based in China and Mongolia. Alpert passed away on 15 February 2015.

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