Dancers by Fred Gutzeit


What's the real world, three dimensions: height, width, depth? Well I would say, at least four: movement/time being the fourth dimension. Breaking from realism to abstraction was big for me in art school. Frank Hewitt was 25 years old when he came to teach painting at the Cleveland Institute of Art ( When in his class, I said that I was trying to work with feeling in my painting, he went into kind of a fit and advised me to look at FUTURISM. I did and it prompted me to address movement in painting rather than "feeling." Taking the multiple images combined in Italian Futurism and lumping Duchamp's "Nude Descending Staircase" with them, I came up with picturing a dancer to represent movement. It also was a way for me to move from representation to abstraction. This took on a host of ideas for me which have resonated to the present. Back then, abstract expressionism held the canvas to be an arena to for the artist to act out in. For me "arena" implies combat-I rather think of the canvas as a "stage" to act on, or better a stage on which to choreograph a dance. Your eyes dance on the picture plane. Jump to the present and I've incorporated this "Dancer Idea" into a meditation on personal calligraphy. How our hand moves (our hand writing) when we write our names, is a kind of "dance" that expresses our identity.

    • Neon Dancer

    • 1967, Oil on Canvas
    • 50 x 40 inches
    • Neon Dancer

    • 1961, Intaglio
    • 24 x 18 inches

Solo Exhibitions

Group Exhibitions

  • 2017, VanDerPlas Gallery, New York, NY
  • 1964, Boston Printmakers, Boston, MA
  • 1964, Mercyhurst College, Mercyhurst, PA
  • 1964, Jewish Museum, New York, NY

Other Series