An American artist working in Italy for the last fifteen years, Alan Feltus is inspired by classical antiquity but re-creates his own unique neo-classical style. As a result, old masters assume a pivotal role in his work as both inspiration and muse, replacing traditional life models. Alan Feltus studies these artists’ masterworks, blending their observations of the past with his own ideas on contemporary relationships.
Depicting relationships is at the heart of Alan Feltus’ imagery. Whether portraying husbands and wives, siblings, lovers, or friends, he communicates feelings of sadness, dismay and loneliness by isolating figures and casting them in his enigmatic dramas. Seeking to express the inexpressible, he uses body language as a tool. As is true in early Italian Renaissance paintings, Feltus’ figures rarely seem to direct their eyes towards the viewer. Women and men gaze longingly or suspiciously through dimmed or large, turned eyes, making them appear perplexed. He illustrates their hands so that they appear to be clutched or reaching out, though they never are successful at reaching another person. Bodies are postured awkwardly so that they appear aloof and frozen in a moment. All these elements help Alan Feltus render the complexities of emotion.
Born in Washington, DC in 1943, Mr. Feltus studied at the Tyler School of Fine Arts and later received a B.F.A. from Cooper Union in New York and an M.F.A. from Yale University. He has received many awards for his work, such as a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant in Painting, the Augustus Saint-Gaudens Award from Cooper Union, and the Raymond P. R. Neilson Prize from the National Academy of Design.
Alan Feltus has had one-person gallery exhibitions in New York, Los Angeles and Washington D.C., as well as Chicago, San Francisco, New Orleans and Rome. His work has been included in exhibitions at the American Academy in Rome (New York and Rome), The Joseph H. Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden (Washington, D.C.), The National Academy Museum (New York), and the National Museum of American Art in Washington, D.C.
He has also been commissioned by the American Medical Association in Washington, D.C., and The Montana Building in New York. In 2001, he received the Raymond P.R. Neilson Prize given by the National Academy of Design in New York. He is also included in several important public collections such as The Arkansas Art Center in Little Rock, AR, The Bayly Museum in Atlanta, GA, The Corcoran Gallery of Art and The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C., The National Academy of Art in New York, NY, The Oklahoma City Art Museum and the Wichita Art Museum in KS.