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Harold Shapinsky: American abstract expressionist born in Brooklyn, New York on the 21st of May, 1925. After studying under and creating alongside the likes of Harry Sternberg and Cameron Booth, Shapinsky was granted a scholarship in 1948 to the Subjects of the Artist, a school led by William Baziotes, David Hare, Mark Rothko, and Robert Motherwell.  After the closing of the school in 1949, Shapinsky fell ill and subsequently lost his apartment and most of his art while recovering at his brother’s home. He continued to study under Robert Motherwell in his new studio and school in 1949, and was slated for his debut in 1950. Bad luck befell Shapinsky yet again, this time in the form of the draft; while allowed leave to attend his gallery premier, his time at Ft. Dix prevented him from taking advantage of the abstract expressionist school’s momentum from the first to the second generation. Caught between the two worlds and sequestered for years, Harold Shapinsky fell from the scene and into obscurity.

Shapinsky’s art would never have reemerged if not for the fervor of an Indian Professor of English, Akumal Ramachander, who single-handedly convinced the art world of the importance of Shapinsky’s work, leading to his premier one-man-show at the Mayor Gallery in 1985.

Lawrence Weschler, of The New Yorker, documented the efforts of Rachmander as well as some biographical information of Harold Shapinsky in a wonderful essay titled Shapinsky’s Karma”.

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