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Richard Wilt

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Richard Wilt, American, 1915-1981. A 1960s acrylic on canvas diptych, titled "No.14 & No.24". Both signed “Richard Wilt”, dated “1962-64”, and titled lower left and right corners. Artist made frame surrounds canvases on three sides, interior vertical sides with hinge attachments. In the artist’s frames each section measures 43 1/2 x 60 1/2" high overall.

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Educated at the Carnegie Institute of Technology in Pittsburgh (B.A. 1938) and the New School for Social Research in New York City, Wilt joined the faculty at the University of Michigan in 1947. His other teaching positions included those at the Oxbow Summer School of Art, the Carnegie Institute, and Wayne State University. In 1953 he received an M.A. from the University of Pittsburgh. Characteristic of his work is the use of a variety of methods to achieve surface texture, including blotting and bleeding of color, beaded and veined pigment, as well as scored lines. He is well known for his figurative works, which usually feature inert, vacant-eyed, almost surrealistic children, and for his detailed depictions of tropical foliage, inspired by a 1960 sabbatical in the Caribbean.
As an artist, and an instructor at the University of Michigan, Wilt gained a substantial following and was considered a staple of the Ann Arbor community.
Considered a “Social Comment” painter, Wilt, like many artists, painted landscapes, but he was not afraid to delve into serious subject matter, such as World War II, the black revolution, and the Vietnam protests. He worked in several mediums, including drawing, oil painting, and watercolors. Before his passing in 1981, he had exhibited more than 60 one-man shows nationally.

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