Nat Mayer Shapiro
Nat Mayer Shapiro’s art is best known for his complex paintings on paper and canvas that may incorporate structural and whimsical imagery among areas of pure or constructed abstraction. He did not adhere to any particular school or art movement, remaining an individualist throughout his life.
Nat Mayer Shapiro spent his childhood and adolescence in Brooklyn, NY. At ten he decided he would become a full-time fine arts painter and started attending the after-school programs at the Pratt Institute in New York. He was inducted in the army in 1941, and traveled with the Medical Corp to Australia and New Guinea where he spent most of his four years and half of military life. Upon his return to the States, he spent eight months in the Rest & Rehabilitation Center in Lake Placid, NY, where he was finally able to work as an artist, painting stage sets, portraits and landscapes. In 1945, the War Department acquired some of Shapiro’s artwork for the then planned War Museum. Back into civilian life, Shapiro worked as a commercial artist while attending classes at the Art Students League of New York.
In 1951, married and father of two children, he moved with his family to Chicago and later to Europe where he settled in France. In Paris he attended the Académie de la Grande Chaumière and experimented with different artistic media and styles.
In 1985, Shapiro returned to New York and settled in Westchester, NY where he joined a group of artists who wanted to open a cooperative art gallery. He was instrumental in locating, setting up and launching Westchester's oldest fine arts cooperative gallery in Dobbs Ferry, the Upstream Gallery of which he was president from 1995 to 2002.
Nat Mayer Shapiro’s works of art can be found in numerous private art collections throughout the world, and are included in the permanent art collections of the Ministry of Culture (Fonds National d'Art Contemporain—FNAC), Paris, France, The Art Gallery of the Queensborough Community College, Queens, NY and Pfizer Inc. New York, New York.