In the fall of 2016,
FWMoA became the recipients of a very generous gift of paintings and prints
from the estate of David Shapiro intended to establish an archive of his work
for future generations to know and enjoy. The gift is the largest in scope,
size, and value in the history of the Fort Wayne Museum of Art, marking an era
of unprecedented collections growth for this relatively young museum. This
exhibition of Shapiro’s paintings is an introduction to his numerous themes,
his technical approaches, and the intended meaning of his work.
He devoutly studied and practiced Buddhism, which had a profound influence on his work, and he also was captivated by Asian art which taught him an appreciation for stillness, simplicity, and the beauty of calligraphic line. Shapiro internalized these influences, mixed them with his spirituality, and fused them into a way of working and a style that were distinctly his own. The title phrase, Origin and Return, comes from a series of Shapiro’s paintings by the same name, but those words also embody the complex depths of the person and artistry of David Shapiro.