The Lasting World:
Simon Dinnerstein and The Fulbright Triptych

The Lasting World: Simon Dinnerstein and The Fulbright Triptych explores the noted New York artist’s creative arc from early, hyperrealist works through more introspective and fantastical later works. The exhibition’s centerpiece is The Fulbright Triptych, a monumental three-part work measuring fourteen across that Roberta Smith, The New York Times art critic once described as “a crackling, obsessive showboat of a painting, dreamed up during a decade when the medium supposedly teetered on the brink of death.”

The visually complex Triptych is part autobiographical essay, part homage to Renaissance artists and their craft, part reflection on the historical legacies of the 20th century, and part meditation on the power of images to inspire across time and place.

Dinnerstein was born in Brooklyn in 1943, earned a history degree from City College and studied drawings and painting for three years in the 1960s at the Brooklyn Museum Art School. He began working on the Triptych in 1971 when he was a Fulbright Fellow in Germany, and completed it in his Brooklyn studio in 1974. Nearly life-size portraits of the artist and his wife Renée holding their infant daughter Simone on her lap flank windows with views of the German neighborhood in which they lived, a table covered with printmaking tools, and on the wall behind it, numerous postcards of masterpieces by van Eyck, Vermeer, Holbein, Degas, Seurat, and Donatello.

In addition to The Fulbright Triptych, the exhibition includes examples of Dinnerstein’s subtly evocative drawings and paintings from the 1960s through the 1990s, which continually interrogate the role of art in lived human experience.

The Lasting World: Simon Dinnerstein and The Fulbright Triptych seeks to engage visitors and the broader public in discussions of what individual works of art mean, and how significance and relevance are constructed from different viewpoints. The exhibition was organized by the Museum of Art & Archaeology, University of Missouri in collaboration with the Nevada Museum of Art.

Hear more about the story behind The Fulbright Triptych in this NPR story.

Simon Dinnerstein, The Fulbright Triptych, 1971-74. Oil on wood panels, 79 1/2 x 168 inches, framed and separated. Palmer Museum of Art, Pennsylvania State University.

Simon Dinnerstein, Renee, 1970. Charcoal, 25 x 39 inches. Lawrence and Irene Lezak, New York.