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Anderson Gallery to showcase work of De Niro, Feldman

Irving Feldman (left) and Robert De Niro Sr. Washington Square Park, New York City, May 1954. Courtesy of Fernando Feldman and Irving Feldman

By MARCENE ROBINSON

Published September 3, 2015

The legacy of Robert De Niro Sr., father of the iconic actor bearing the same name, will return to UB for a limited time.

The artwork of De Niro, an abstract expressionist painter and poet — and for a short time a UB instructor, will be featured in a new collaborative exhibition, “Robert De Niro Sr. and Irving Feldman: Painter and Poet at UB in the Late 60s,” at the UB Anderson Gallery.

The exhibition will be on display Sept. 11 through Oct. 24. An opening reception will be take place from 7-9 p.m. Sept. 11 at the gallery at 1 Martha Jackson Place, off Englewood Avenue near the South Campus. The reception is free and open to the public.

The exhibition will feature the paintings and drawings of De Niro, including a series of Buffalo landscapes that were created during a period when the artist experimented with his use of light, color and space.

Several of De Niro’s works were donated from the Albright-Knox Art Gallery and private collections. The Anderson Gallery exhibition also will include a series of photographs and drawings by two UB students taught by De Niro in the late 1960s.

Along with the paintings, the exhibit, co-curated by Sandra H. Olsen, director of the UB Art Galleries, and Michael Basinski, curator of the University Libraries Poetry Collection, will feature excerpts from renowned poet Irving Feldman, longtime friend of De Niro and SUNY Distinguished Professor Emeritus in the Department of English.

Selected books of poetry, literary magazine publications, broadsides from the Poetry Collection and ephemeral materials — posters, photographs and reportage — from the University Archives will be displayed as well.

During the late 1960s, UB emerged as a leader in the arts and a destination for many of the best practicing artists in the country, including John Logan and Robert Creeley.

De Niro first traveled to UB as a visiting artist for 1967 Summer, a three-month program featuring faculty and artists in film, literature, poetry, music, dance, drama and art. The sole visual artist to present during the program, he was recommended to the UB Art Department by Feldman. That year, 1967, was the first of six years that De Niro taught summer sessions at UB.

The UB Art Galleries also will host the poetry reading, “An Evening with Irving Feldman,” at 7 p.m. Oct. 8.

Feldman is the recipient of an American Academy of Arts and Letters’ Arts and Letters Award, and is a fellow of the Academy of American Poets, the Ingram Merrill Foundation and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.