Robert Angeloch was born in Queens, New York in 1922. After a stint in the Air Corps he studied at the Art Students League of New York on the GI Bill. A McDowell Traveling Scholarship allowed him to travel and study in Europe. He came to Woodstock in 1948 and spent the rest of his life here.
His prints and drawings are in museum collections throughout the U.S. He received grants and awards from numerous institutions including the NEA and the Pollock-Krasner Foundation. He had more than 75 one-person exhibits.
From 1964 to 1979 he taught at the Art Students League in Woodstock and from 1968 to 2003 at the Woodstock School of Art. In 1976 he opened the Paradox Gallery in order to show his work and that of other Woodstock artists. He owned and managed the gallery until 2000. He was a founder, long-time President and guiding spirit of the WSA. He died in 2011.
So what is it between you and the moon ?” I asked him once. “it’s not just the moon, ” he said. “It’s the whole night sky. The clouds around the moon, what the moon does to the clouds and vice versa. And the darkness, too, it has a shape. And then the movement in all the shapes together.”
Gail Godwin, from Robert Angeloch, Night Skies. Phantom Press. 1996
What curators Paula Nelson and John Kleinhans have done here is a labor of love. Culling work from a vast collection, settling which medium and period best exemplifies the varied life’s work of a dear close colleague, then cataloging, building frames, matting and cutting glass…every aspect of producing this show, has been completed graciously and enthusiastically by two artist friends who have studied, traveled, run this school, played ping-pong and shared a long and close-knit friendship with our founder, Robert Angeloch.
On the walls of the gallery, named in his memory, you are treated to the works on paper that made Angeloch a sought-after instructor and one of Woodstock’s most venerated artists. Included are works infused in abstract realism, his predominant style, and also his delicate renderings and impressions of light on form from Monhegan Island to Scotland. Quirky woodcuts of the 1950’s, the serigraphs, honed to formalist perfection, the refined elegance of his wood engravings, his precious sketchbooks and rarely seen oils on paper will remind you of what it was that made you love Angeloch in the first place.
At the Woodstock School of Art, we are honored to have this work grace our walls for a season. We remain grateful to Angeloch for his vision, both poetic and practical, and to his two dear friends who have brought a part of him back to life for us to remember again and again.
President and Instructor, Woodstock School of Art
Many would call Robert Angeloch a realist, but I think he was not, at least not by inclination. Certainly he could do realist work, but to a large extent that work was connected with his teaching at the Woodstock School of Art.
I’ve had many talks with Robert about his art and have made observations about his methods. If he was painting in nature, looking directly at his motif, it tended towards realism, if he worked in the studio on a landscape from sketches, his imagination tended to take over and dominate the work. For example, I visited him in his studio after he had returned from a trip to Ireland and he was working a series of smallish paintings from notated sketches. His sketches were simple line drawings with small notes about color. He worked from these sketches and from memory and imagination. The result was not realism, but stylized realism or imaginative realism.
His primary concern, or perhaps his primary love, was design. Landscape for him was an excuse to build compositions. If you asked him about a certain work, a lovely scene of a beach, he might say, “two colors, gray and black”. It pleased him immensely that he was able to do so much with so little.
Under the eminent New Hampshire artist, Fiske Boyd, he learned the language of printmaking: how to think simply with economy and efficiency, how to reduce an image to its simplest readable form.
He learned to speak in patterns and used this language in a long stream of silk-screens, etchings and woodcuts. I think his prints are elegant gems and I think they are his finest work.
Vice-president and Instructor, Woodstock School of Art