I chose 5 works for this exhibit which deal with The Artist and the Studio , with the theme of process in the fine arts. The largest of the works shown, The Fulbright Triptych , depicts a major painting which was begun in Germany, 1970-1971, during a Fulbright year abroad. Going to Germany in 1970 was not the same as it is now. It was just 25 years after the Second World War. About 2/3 the way through the year, I found myself sitting in my studio, behind my worktable. For some reason, I pulled pack from this view about 12 feet. I was struck by the whole scene: the table, the images on the wall, the landscape, the whole ambience. The next day, I had a vision of my wife and I sitting on either side of this work table. This was the beginning of an amazing voyage that has continued until this present day.
The Fulbright Triptych took 3 years to complete. It is a very large painting, depicting the studio of a graphic artist, a printmaker. The painting has had quite a journey. It has received enthusiastic responses from John Russell and Roberta Smith, senior critics for The New York Times. In 2011, a book, The Suspension of Time , was published on this work, which includes essays by 45 different writers. The publication is the only one out now devoted to a single painting of a living American artist. The Fulbright Triptych will be featured in an upcoming exhibit, “Looking at Who We Are: The Palmer at 50,” Palmer Museum of Art, Penn State University, University Park, PA, September 23 – December 18, 2022. The painting is a tribute to the complexity, challenge and awe that the Fulbright Program inspires and clearly inspired in my stay in Germany.