Tuesday, October 10, 2006

phelan & wilbert

The current issue of ArtNews mag. has a feature on artists and the teachers that inspired them. The article includes a picture of ellen phelan and her teacher robert wilbert.

"As an undergraduate at Wayne State University in Detroit in the late 1960s, Ellen Phelan studied with realist painter Robert Wilbert, who, like Albers, roamed the studio, often stopping behind her to observe what she was making. He helped her “figure out how the spatial relationships worked, why one painting was better than others,” she says. Phelan also remembers him showing slides and talking “about paintings as paintings, rather than in an art-historical way.” This practice of “opening kids up to learning from physical objects” is one she introduced into her own classrooms at Harvard University, where she chaired the visual and environmental studies department from 1995 to 2001. She encouraged students to analyze what pigments an artist might have used, or how a certain color was mixed. “I had a student of art history who was working at the university’s Fogg Art Museum, who thanked me,” she says. “He told me, ‘I will never look at painting the same way again.’”artnews


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Robert Wilbert was the single most important influence on my development as a painter. He taught me how to see the bigger picture. He taught me that the natural world, when carefully observed, reveals a poetic coherence that lends itself to a visual logic of painting. I later understood that this pictorial logic was in turn the basis for meaning in painting. I still marvel at Mr. Wilbert’s work, and I continue to learn from it.

9:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. Wilbert was one of my painting teachers, also.....what an influence he was, and still is!

6:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

He knows when to push a student and when to stand back and let them figure a problem out for themselves. He is a wonderful teacher.

2:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In 1971, the year Ellen Phelan recieved her masters from WSU I earned my BFA. Robert or as we addressed him Mr. Wilbert was a great teacher of what painting can be and also a friend we respected. Although I have not had contact with Mr. Wilbert for many years he still is my mentor whenever I have the privilege to pick up a paint brush. Thank you Robert.

2:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The equvilent of Norman Rockwell. Wonderful

9:26 PM  

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