William (Bill) Alpert  (1934 - 2015) 

Abstract painter and teacher, Bill Alpert, was born in 1934 in Bronx, New York to Russian-Polish parents. His father, Jacob Alpert, was the owner and operator of a drug store in their community. Planning to follow his father’s path, Bill Alpert attended the University of Southern California to become a pharmacist. He eventually obtained a doctorate in the subject in 1958, but shortly after realized it was not the career for him. He returned to school, this time at the University of California, Los Angeles, where he received a Bachelor of Arts in Painting in 1963. He continued into a Masters of Fine Arts, which he received in 1965, with Arthur Levine and John Paul Jones as two of his most influential instructors.

Alpert’s first inclusion in an exhibition was held at the Czeka Co-op Gallery in Los Angeles in 1965 and the first showing of his work in New York was in 1968, the year he moved into a loft in SoHo. By the mid-1970s, Alpert worked primarily in painted wood constructions and abstract paintings. In 1977, Alpert was included in a group show at the Wade Gallery in Washington D.C., who hosted a solo exhibition of his works the very next year. The Washington Post remarked on Alpert’s “proli_ c virtuoso of both color and form” in an article in 1978 about his solo exhibit. Alpert’s work was also included in an exhibition of selections from the Brutten-Herrick Collection in 1980 held at the Ben Shahn Gallery at William Paterson College. During this period, Alpert also developed various drying techniques for straight pigments and paint, often on canvas or paper.
By the late 1980s and early 1990s, Alpert became disillusioned by the commercialization of art in galleries and began declining invitations to exhibit his work. At the same time, he was hired as an adjunct professor at Thee Cooper Union School of Art, where he continued to teach for several decades. Alpert also instructed at Parsons School of Design, Pratt University, the School of Visual Arts, and with groups based in China and Mongolia. He never stopped working, however, on his creative outlets and painted every day. Alpert returned briefly to exhibiting in the mid-1990s, but he quickly grew frustrated with the scene once again. In 2011 his works were featured in a group exhibit affiliated with the World Monument Fund, “Light, Being, and Sound: Existence in the Age of the Visual”, where it was observed that Alpert “exhibits the courage of being as he emerges from seclusion to regale us with his large scale abstract expressionist paintings”. Bill Alpert died February 15, 2015 in New York City.