David Schorr at his Flying Carpets exhibit at Zilkha Gallery in 2016. (Photo by Cynthia Rockwell)
David Schorr, professor of art, died on June 16 at the age of 71.
Schorr was born and raised in Chicago. He received his BA from Brown University and his BFA and MFA from Yale University. He arrived at Wesleyan in 1971, and for the past 47 years he taught a wide range of courses including printmaking, drawing, typography, book design, graphic design, and calligraphy. He received the Binswanger Prize for Excellence in Teaching in 2015.
Schorr’s career as an artist and designer was as broad ranging as his teaching. He designed many posters and books, provided illustrations for numerous books (including Parallel Lives by Phyllis Rose and Norman Shapiro’s translations of La Fontaine’s fables), provided hundreds of literary portraits for the New Republic (some of which currently hang in the Shapiro Writing Center and in the president’s office), and had an active practice as a painter and printmaker, exhibiting regularly with the Mary Ryan Gallery in New York City for over 30 years. Schorr’s work addressed themes ranging from the human comedy (Commedia dell’Arte) and tragic loss (the AIDS crisis) to nostalgia.
Professor of Physics Greg Voth, at right, will teach a new course, CIS 170, Introduction to Engineering and Design, as part of Wesleyan’s new Interdisciplinary minor in Integrated Design, Engineering, and Applied Sciences.
Amid rising student interest, Wesleyan has announced a new interdisciplinary minor in Integrated Design, Engineering, and Applied Sciences (IDEAS), beginning in 2017-18. It will be hosted within the College of Integrative Sciences (CIS).
The IDEAS minor will introduce foundational skills in engineering and design, and bring together existing arts, design, and applied science courses to create a more formal structure to guide students interested in these fields.
According to Professor of Physics Francis Starr, a co-proposer of the minor and director of the CIS, “The new minor plays into Wesleyan’s unique capabilities and dovetails with Wesleyan’s commitment to prepare students for the challenges facing society today. Our aim is to provide students with practical design and problem solving skills, coupled with the context to understand the social and cultural implications of their work.” The minor passed the Educational Policy Committee (EPC) in April.
Wesleyan is at the forefront of an emerging approach in academia
Professor of Art David Schorr offered a WESeminar preview to the opening of his newest exhibition, Flying Carpets, now in Wesleyan’s Zilkha Gallery. (Photo by Cynthia Rockwell)
On Nov. 1, Professor of Art David Schorr’s Flying Carpets—New Paintings by David Schorr opened at Wesleyan’s Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery with a standing-room-only reception and gallery talk by the artist. This solo exhibition and the site-specific installation, Flying Carpets, revisits Schorr’s childhood days spent playing on his grandmother’s Persian rugs. A few days earlier, on Oct. 29, Schorr had previewed this opening in an WESeminar for Family Weekend.
In his remarks, Schorr shared the artists’ process through which the series came to be. “One of the questions my students ask is, ‘Where do ideas come from?’” he began. “And alas, I have no easy answer. I can say where an idea begins, but often like a working title which is discarded, my ideas are not born fully formed and as I try to give them form I am actually trying to understand what it really is I am trying to say…..
“What I do care most about from the start is whether the idea that I am chasing is a potent metaphor for my viewers. I don’t need to know that the images they are seeing what I am seeing. I do need some assurance that these images are stirring memories or thoughts or emotions in my viewers. And only then do my own doubts begin to abate and I can keep working on…”
Beginning with a conversation about childhood moments spent playing with toy vehicles on grandparents’ carpets—and the memories he saw that this triggered in his friends, Schorr traced the creative path, following the evolution of this series from the image of sturdy metal toys against the colors and patterns of the carpet, to the sense of play and abandoned boundaries that childhood imagination imbued in each.
David Schorr, Red Roadsters, 22 x 22 inches, gouache and silverpoint on linen.
Flying Carpets: New Paintings by David Schorr, a solo exhibition and site-specific installation by Professor of Art and Chair of the Art and Art History Department David Schorr, will be on view in the Main Gallery at the Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery from Oct. 27 through Dec. 11. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. Gallery admission is free.
In this latest body of work, Schorr revisits childhood days spent playing on his grandmother’s Persian rugs. Vibrantly colored taxis and race cars drive over paisley designs, while model planes soar midst coffee cans and mailing labels. In his practiced technique of combining gouache with silverpoint drawing on linen, he recreates the richly colored world of his young imagination.
In each of the paintings, the artist contrasts familiar toys from the mid 20th century with images that hint at the exotic and expansive world beyond his Chicago home. Trains and dump trucks traverse floating prayer rugs next to the turbaned man from a coffee company’s logo. The steel models recall an era before plastic, during an earlier day of commercial travel when the possibilities of exploration and discovery felt infinite and even exotic.
The public is invited to attend the Opening Reception from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Nov. 1 in the Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery, with a gallery talk by David Schorr at 5 p.m.
Schorr also will speak during a preview of his exhibit from 2 to 4 p.m. Oct. 29 in the gallery. This talk is held in conjunction with Family Weekend.
The works in this exhibition are courtesy of Ryan Lee Gallery in New York. Schorr is represented by the gallery, who will present Flying Carpets in January 2017. For more information see the Center for the Arts website.
Wesleyan President Michael Roth (second from left) and Daphne Kwok ’84, chair of the Wesleyan Alumni Association (fifth from left) presented The Binswanger Prize for Excellence in Teaching to Gina Athena Ulysse (at left), Michael Calter and David Schorr. (Photo by John Van Vlack)
President Michael Roth awarded Alan Dachs ’70, Hon ’07, P’98 with the Raymond E. Baldwin Medal on May 24. (Photo by John Van Vlack)
During the 183rd Commencement ceremony, President Michael Roth awarded the Binswanger Prize for Excellence in Teaching to three faculty, and the Raymond E. Baldwin Medal to an alumnus.
Three outstanding teachers are recognized annually with the Binswanger Prize for Excellence in Teaching. This year, President Michael Roth honored Michael Calter, David Schorr and Gina Athena Ulysse for their excellence in teaching.
The prizes are made possible by gifts from the family of the late Frank G. Binswanger Sr., Hon. ’85, and underscore Wesleyan’s commitment to its scholar-teachers, who are responsible for the university’s distinctive approach to liberal arts education.
Now on view at Usdan: A is for Ampersand, the final project of Professor of Art David Schorr’s Advanced Graphic Design Tutorial. Students in the class conceived and realized the project with inspiration from a non-curricular project on which some of the students had worked as members of The Type Club. All decisions regarding font, format and other particulars were made as a group, with most of the letters developing or being entirely redone over a four-week period. (Photo by Laurie Kenney)
David Schorr’s “Snakebite Song” will be on display at the Addison Gallery. (20 x 11, silverpoint, tinted gesso, and gouache on linen, 1992)
David Schorr, professor of art, and director of the Art Studio Program for the Art and Art History Department, will have artwork on exhibition at the Addison Gallery of American Art in Andover, Mass. The exhibit, Secrets, Loss, Memory and Courage: Works by Male Gay Artists, will be on display April 27-July 31.
The show honors gay rights activist, author and poet Paul Monette (1945-1995), who received an honorary degree from Wesleyan in 1993. Schorr and Monette collaborated on three books.
Old Flames - Handle with Care (2010) by David Schorr.
The most recent work by Professor of Art David Schorr will be shown in February and March 2012 in the exhibition APOTHECARY (storehouse) at Davison Art Center. The show features more than 75 paintings of antique apothecary bottles that have been meticulously executed by Schorr in gouache and silverpoint on luxurious, colored Fabriano Roma papers.
The exhibit opens at noon, Feb. 3. Schorr will speak at 5:30 p.m. and the gallery will be open until 7 p.m. that day. Schorr also will speak at 4:30 p.m. Feb. 22 in the Center for the Arts Hall.
A 160-page full-color catalog accompanies the exhibition.
The bottles in these paintings float curiously in space, a mysterious, bright light glistening on their curves and bevels, sometimes shimmering through but not revealing their contents. Some of the objects seem empty. The bottles are meant to contain not chemicals and unguents but stuff such as Bad Intentions, Furtive Glances, Old Flames, Lazy Afternoons,
One works in translating languages; the other translates words into images. Together they are about to take audiences through a centuries-old world of lechers, louts and libertines, among others.
Norman Shapiro, professor of romance languages and literatures, and David Schorr, professor of art, have been collaborating together for more than 20 years to bring ancient French verse and tales to life for an English-reading audience. Their most recent effort is a re-issue, La Fontaine’s Bawdy: Of Libertines, Louts, and Lechers (2009 by the Black Widow Press), a book they will be discussing and signing at on May 5 at Broad Street Books in Middletown at 4:30 p.m.
The two professors have Wesleyan to thank for their partnership, having first met when they both arrived on campus in the 1970s. Shapiro calls Schorr “the ideal person” to illustrate his translations. Schorr’s expressive animal illustrations, including versatile woodcuts, sumi-e drawings, and line drawings, bring the tales to life.
“David’s illustrations are wonderful,” Shapiro says. “They are not stodgy and he has a way of looking at the fables and book pages with a different eye.”
Book translated by Norman Shapiro and illustratd by David Schorr.
Norman Shapiro, professor of romance languages and literature, translated Jean de La Fontaine’s poems in La Fontaine’s Bawdy, Revised Edition: Of Libertines, Louts, and Lechers. The 273-page book was published by Black Widow Press/Commonwealth Books, Inc. in Boston, Mass. on Jan. 16.
David Schorr, professor of art, illustrated the book.
The Contes et nouvelles en vers of Jean de La Fontaine (1621-1695) were published at various times throughout his life, often these works threatened to get him in trouble with both Church and Academie. This translation covers the entire corpus in all their variety. The mildly suggestive mingle with the frankly bawdy rendered in the spirit they were written in and scrupulously faithful to one of France’s greatest poets.