Paul Jeffrey Sharits (February 7, 1943, Denver, Colorado - July 8, 1993, Buffalo, New York)
Paul Sharits was a visual artist, best known for his work in experimental or avant-garde filmmaking, particularly what became known as the structural film movement, along with artists such as Tony Conrad, Hollis Frampton, and Michael Snow.
His film work primarily focused on installations using one or all of the following: film loops, multiple projectors, and experimental soundtracks, as in his film Interface recently shown at Greene Naftali Gallery in New York City (Feb 18-Apr 11, 2009).
He was born in Denver, Colorado and earned a BFA in Painting at The University of Denver's School of Art where he was a protege of Stan Brakhage. He also attended Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana where he received an MFA in Visual Design. In July 1960, he married Frances Trujillo Niekerk, and in 1965 they had a son, Christopher. They divorced in 1970.
He was subsequently a teacher at the Maryland Institute College of Art, Antioch College, and SUNY Buffalo (where he was hired by Gerald O'Grady along with Conrad and Frampton).
His works of the 60s, when he received the widest acclaim, included influential 'flicker' films such as Ray Gun Virus, Piece Mandala/End War, N:O:T:H:I:N:G, T,O,U,C,H,I,N,G ('starring' poet David Franks), and S:TREAM:S:S:ECTION:S:ECTION:S:S:ECTIONED. His works of the 70s were among the forerunners of contemporary installation art. Themes of violence permeate his work.
Son Christopher Sharits suggests on the memorial website (see External Links) that Sharits suffered from bipolar disorder.