Marvin Saltzman - The Abstract Landscapes of Marvin Saltzman


Marvin Saltzman

Exhibition dates: June 27 to August 24, 2014


Exhibition Reviews

The Durham Herald Sun 'Saltzman: I'm not an artist, I'm a painter' - by Blue Greenberg  Indy Week 'On the uncompromising artifice of influential local painter and professor Marvin Saltzman' - by Chris Vitiello


Marvin Saltzman's distinguished career spans more than 60 years. Born in Chicago, Illinois in 1931, Saltzman studied at The University of Chicago and The Art Institute of Chicago from 1954 to 1956. He received his Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Southern California in 1959.


Among his accolades is a North Carolina Award in the Fine Arts in 1998. As one of six recipients of the state's highest honor, the retired UNC art professor is one of three winners of the 1998 North Carolina Award with ties to the Chapel Hill-Carrboro area. The award is given by the state Department of Cultural Resources, which honored Saltzman for "his strong, passionate abstract paintings and his many years of work with UNC art students." 

Saltzman was on the UNC faculty for 30 years.


His work has been exhibited both nationally and internationally. Selected exhibitions include The Asanagawa Gallery, Kanazawa, Japan, The National Arts Club, New York, The Ackland Art Museum, Chapel Hill, The Chrysler Museum, VA, The Spokane Art Center, WA, The Seattle Art Museum, WA and The Los Angeles Museum of Art, CA


"The paintings are exuberant and playful, luxuriant and rich in color. There is a letting go, a release, although Saltzman's process remains the same. Planes, directional forms, circles, and edges are almost obscured as before, but, with vivid color heightening their traces, the glyphs become voluble." Patricia Mathews -- Department of Art History, Oberlin College

Saltzmans older sister, Florence, was a painter and print maker. In a letter written to her cousin in the 30's she wrote: "We were talking about having to learn technique, but while learning it, one must not lose sight of the first desire, the motive behind it all, or we would lose the justification of spending a lifetime, such a precious thing, on an ordinary article like technique.  If in the process of learning we would keep this little phrase in view it would help to keep from losing the true desire: Art is the creation, not the imitation of life."


Saltzman influenced numerous notable artists during his tenure at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill from 1967 to 1996. One of North Carolinas most influential art professors, as well as a profoundly gifted painter, Saltzman has inspired and influenced two generations of students at UNC.

- Mark Donley