Drawings and prints by the late Arnold Bittleman,
Union professor of art, will be on exhibit from August 26 through Oct. 10 at the Mandeville Gallery in the Nott
Memorial at Union College.
The show is free and open to the public. Gallery hours are
Monday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information, visit http://www.union.edu/Gallery/ or call
A nationally renowned artist,
Bittleman (1933-1985) joined the Union College faculty in 1966 after teaching at Skidmore College, Parsons School of Design, and Yale University. He arrived at Union as the founding and only member of
the Studio Arts faculty, and was an artist-in-residence and lecturer in the
arts, initially declining the position of professor, and declining offers from
Yale to return there to teach.
Bittleman, a very popular professor, was not interested in
rank, or in the machinations of departments; he was interested in educating
students and creating art. During his 20 years at the College, Bittleman taught
drawing, painting, design, color theory, photography, and printmaking. He was extremely active on campus, designing
event posters, designing and advising for The
Union Book, organizing concerts, film series, and lectures. In 1970 he
received tenure and became a full professor.
His own work flowed slowly, carefully onward, and though he
often had difficulty in finishing work, he exhibited widely and regularly. His work was shown at numerous venues
including the Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum of American
Art in New York City, and the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. His works are in a number of
collections: the Museum of Modern Art; the Whitney Museum of American Art; the
Brooklyn Museum; the Boston Museum of Fine Arts; Munson-Williams-Proctor Institute, Utica, NY; the
Addison Gallery of American Art, Andover, Mass.; the Schenectady Museum; the Arkansas
Art Center, Little Rock; and many others.
Bittleman grew up in the Bronx.
He attended James Monroe High School and the Rhode Island School of
Design before receiving a B.F.A. (1956) and an M.F.A. (1958) from Yale University, where he studied with Josef Albers
(about whom he later made the film To
Open Eyes – on view in this exhibition). In 1983, Bittleman was diagnosed with
an inoperable brain tumor. Despite his worsening illness, he continued to teach
through the fall of 1984. He died April 7, 1985 at 51.
The show, previously at Gallery 100 in Saratoga Springs, was curated by Rachel Seligman, director of the Mandeville