8424 - Fort Wayne Museum of Art announces its largest gift of art to date


David Shapiro, Clearing 87, 2008. Acrylic on canvas.

The Fort Wayne Museum of Art announced a major gift to its permanent collection, over 200 paintings and more than 500 prints from the estate of internationally-acclaimed American artist David Shapiro. The gift, with an estimated value of $6.2 million, is the largest in scope and value in the history of the Fort Wayne Museum of Art.
His paintings and prints, according to the author Mason Riddle, "comprise a highly personal language of signs and symbols. Circles, spirals, dots, wave and knot patterns, stylized flames and textures resonate on richly hued, tactile surfaces of Nepalese and Japanese papers, burlap, nylon screening, and canvas evoking a subtle mood of contemplation.”

FWMoA CEO and Chief Curator Charles Shepard adds, “Before his untimely death in 2014, David Shapiro had already secured his place in the history of contemporary art by having major museums around the world add both his paintings and prints to their highly regarded collections. That said, the full impact of David’s contributions to the aesthetics of American painting and printmaking in the late 20th/early 21st centuries has yet to be recognized. Alongside artists like Steven Sorman, Kenny Noland, Bob Mangold, and Frank Stella, David Shapiro’s deep and contemplative work advanced abstraction and serious art-making in an increasingly market-driven art world that prospered, predominantly, on sensationalism. The Fort Wayne Museum of Art is especially proud of being chosen by David’s estate to establish an extensive archive of his prints and paintings.”

Shapiro's work is included in many public and private collections including The Museum of Modern Art and the Solomon Guggenheim Museum in New York; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; the Cleveland Museum of Art, and the Kunsthalle der Stadt in Nuremberg, Germany.

This gift is the fourth in a series of other major gifts made by artists to the FWMoA in the past two years, including 110 prints by Robert Kipniss, 95 prints by Katja Oxman, and 230 prints and paintings by Steven Sorman.