Poet Irving Feldman (left) brought his friend, the painter Robert De Niro Sr., to Buffalo in the late 1960s to teach at the University at Buffalo.
  • By Colin Dabkowski
  • Updated 3:36 PM
    August 24, 2015

The late 1960s in Buffalo, as we have learned from innumerable museum and gallery shows in the decades since, was a period of great creative energy and experimentation.

One important nexus for that creative spirit was the University at Buffalo and its star-studded English department, through whose  halls walked any number of literary and artistic greats, pioneers and progenitors of their chosen forms.

One was Robert De Niro Sr., the Syracuse-born abstract expressionist painter and father of the famous actor, who taught during summer sessions at UB for six years beginning in 1967. Another was the poet Irving Feldman, who taught at the university from 1964 to 2004 and was responsible for recruiting De Niro to teach for the program.

Work by both men will go on view on Sept. 11 in UB's Anderson Gallery in "Robert De Niro, Sr. and Irving Feldman: Painter and Poet at UB in the Late 60s," with additional material  from the collections of the Burchfield Penney Art Center and the UB Poetry Collection. It was organized by UB Art Galleries Director Sandra Olsen with the help of Feldman, who matched up his poetry with De Niro's work.

The show will feature many of De Niro's Buffalo landscape paintings, alongside Feldman's poetry, work by De Niro's students Dennis and Barbara Insalaco and ancillary material from the Poetry Collection.

Those paintings, according to a release from the gallery, "illustrate the powerful impact of Buffalo's urban scenery, which stimulated a breakthrough in De Niro's use of color, light, and space."

We'll have more on the exhibition in the coming weeks, but check out UB Art Galleries' website for more info in the meantime.

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