L o u i s - S c h a n k e r- ---- 1 9 0 3 - 1 9 8 1


Born in New York in 1903, Louis Schanker left school as a teenager to join the circus. Two years later he labored on farms, on the Erie Railroad, on a steamship, and criss-crossed the country on the railroad as a hobo. Returning to New York in 1920, he began 4 years of part-time studies at Cooper Union, the Education Alliance and the Art Students League. Schanker's first prints, made as a student, were Social Realist style etchings. A handful of experimental lithographs printed in 1928 reflect the artist's inclinations to modernism and his interest in the work of the School of Paris. He travelled and painted in Europe in 1931.

Schanker became a member of the WPA mural division, and in 1924 began a series of wall panels for Neponist Bay Hospital on Long Island. Other important projects were to follow, including murals for the lobby of the radio station WNYC and at the New York World's Fair in 1939.

 

In 1935 Schanker was one of the "Ten Whitney Dissenters" and a founding member of the American Abstract Artists group.

In 1935 Schanker made his first woodcut using 7 colors printed from as many blocks. In developing his own style and technique in this unfamiliar medium, he studied German Expressionist and traditional Japanese woodblock prints. By mid-1938 Schanker was employed by the New York City WPA/FAP graphic arts division. When the workshop moved, he took over as supervisor of color block printing and he remained in the division until 1941. He also began teaching printmaking courses at the New School for Social Research. With several other artists he organized studio 74 at the New School, an experimental workshop modeled after Atelier 17.


Acrobats- - 1939, Color Woodcut.

Brooklyn Museum 21. Edition 40. Signed and numbered 39/40 in pencil.

Image size 9 1/2 x 7 1/2 inches (241 x 191 mm); sheet size 11 1/2 x 8 1/2 inches (292 x 216 mm).

A fine, painterly impression, with fresh colors, on cream wove Japan paper; margins (1/4 to 1 3/4 inches), in excellent condition.

With a certificate of authenticity from the Associated American Artists 1986 exhibition. Collection: BM.

SOLD


Dancers- - 1939, Woodcut.

Brooklyn Museum 28. Edition 25. Signed, titled and numbered 7/25 in pencil, with the artist's chop in the block, lower right.

Image size 10 1/2 x 14 1/4 inches (267 x 362 mm); sheet size 12 x 16 inches (305 x 406 mm).

A fine, black impression, on cream wove Japan paper, with full margins (5/8 to 1 1/2 inches), in excellent condition.

With a certificate of authenticity from the Associated American Artists 1986 exhibition. Collection: BM.

$1100.


Musical Clowns- - 1939, Color Woodcut.

Brooklyn Museum 31. Edition 21, second edition. Signed, titled and numbered 5/21 and annotated 2-Ed. in pencil.

Image size 11 3/8 x 15 inches (289 x 381 mm); sheet size 14 x 18 inches (356 x 457 mm).

A fine, painterly impression, with fresh colors, on cream wove Japan paper; full margins (1 to 2 inches), in excellent condition.

The first edition was of 30.

Reproduced in American Master Prints from the Betty and Douglas Duffy Collection, The Trust for Museum Exhibitions, Washington, D.C., 1987. Collection: BM.

$2600.


Three Figures, No. 2- - 1940, Color Linocut.

Brooklyn Museum 45. Edition 35 plus 8 trial proofs. Signed, titled Three Figures and numbered 23/35 in pencil, with the artist's chop in the block, lower left.

Image size 6 1/8 x 7 1/8 inches (156 x 181 mm); sheet size 8 1/2 x 8 5/8 inches (216 x 219 mm).

A fine impression, with fresh colors, on cream wove Japan paper; full margins (3/4 to 1 5/8 inches), in excellent condition. Several barely visible diagonal printing creases in the lower left image area.

Collection: BM.

$1400.


Football- - c.1940, Color Woodcut.

Brooklyn Museum 39. Edition 55. Signed, titled and numbered 21/55 WPA in pencil. With the artist's chop in the block, lower right.

Image size 9 7/8 x 13 3/4 inches (251 x 349 mm); sheet size 13 1/8 x 16 7/8 inches (333 x 429 mm).

A rich, painterly impression, on buff Japan, with margins (1 1/4 to 1 3/4 inches), in excellent condition.

Created for the New York City WPA. Illustrated in Louis Schanker Prints, The Brooklyn Museum, 1974. Reproduced in American Master Prints from the Betty and Douglas Duffy Collection, The Trust for Museum Exhibitions, Washington, D.C., 1987. Collection: BM.

SOLD


Untitled Abstraction - - c.1940, Oil on Canvas Board.

Signed in yellow pencil, verso.

Image size 19 3/4 x 23 3/4 inches (502 x 604 mm).

A fine, abstract expressionist work, on canvas board, in excellent condition. Unframed.

$11,000.


St. George and the Dragon- - 1941, Color Woodcut.

Brooklyn Museum 52. Edition 11. Signed, titled and numbered 9/11 in pencil, with the artist's chop in the block, lower left.

Image size 9 x 12 inches (229 x 305 mm); sheet size 11 1/2 x 14 inches (292 x 356 mm).

A rich, painterly impression, with fresh colors, on cream Japan; full margins, in excellent condition.

Illustrated in Louis Schanker Prints, 1924-1971, Brooklyn Museum, 1974. Collection: BM.

$2200.


Forms in Action- - 1941, Woodcut.

Brooklyn Museum 48. Edition 35. Signed and titled in pencil, with the artist's monogram in the block, lower right. Numbered 20 in pencil, in the bottom right margin.

Image size 9 15/16 x 13 15/16 inches (253 x 354 mm); sheet 12 x 18 inches (305 x 455 mm).

A fine, black impression, on buff Japan, with full margins (1 to 2 1/2 inches), in excellent condition.

Illustrated in Louis Schanker Prints, The Brooklyn Museum, 1974. Collections: BM, NYPL.

SOLD


XMAS Carol- - 1941, Color Woodcut.

Not in Brooklyn Museum catalog. Edition 30. Signed, titled, and numbered 9/30 in pencil.

Image size 5 13/15 x 4 3/8 inches (148 x 112 mm); sheet size 7 3/4 x 5 3/8 inches (197 x137 mm).

A fine impression with fresh colors, on cream Japan, with full margins (3/8 to 1 1/2 inch). Pale tape stains (1/2 inch) at the center of the 4 sheet edges; top, left, and right about 1/8 inch from the image; and bottom, 1 inch from the image; otherwise in excellent condition. Scarce. Archivally matted.

Ex-collection Audrey McMahon, Director, New York City WPA Art Project.

$800.


Abstract Landscape- - 1945, Color Woodcut.

Brooklyn Museum 63. Edition 15. Signed in pencil.

Image size 13 x 30 inches (330 x 762 mm); sheet size 16 3/4 x 35 inches (425 x 889 mm).

A rich, painterly impression, with fresh colors, on buff Japan; full margins (1 1/2 to 2 3/4 inches). Traces of printing ink in the margins, otherwise in excellent condition.

Illustrated in Louis Schanker Prints, The Brooklyn Museum, 1974. Exhibited at The Brooklyn Museum, 1974.

Collection: BM.

$4800.


Football #2- - 1971, 8-Color Plexiglas Relief Cut.

Brooklyn Museum 143. Edition 10. Signed, titled, and numbered 6/10 in pencil. With the artist's chop in the block, lower left.

Image size 16 x 24 inches (406 x 610 mm); sheet size 18 7/8 x 26 inches (479 x 660 mm).

A fine, painterly impression, with vibrant colors, on cream wove Japan; full margins (1 to 1 3/4 inches). Scattered soft creasing; minor skinning on the top sheet edge, verso, otherwise in excellent condition. Scarce.

Collection: BM.

$2200.


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