Louis Schanker
American abstract artist
Louis Schanker
Louis Schanker was an American abstract artist born in 1903. He grew up in an orthodox Jewish environment in the Bronx, New York. His parents were of Romanian descent. At an early age he had an interest in both art and music He took art courses at Cooper Union, The Educational Alliance and The Art Students League with Barnett Newman, Mark Rothko and Milton Avery amongst others. During this time he shared a coldwater studio with the Soyer brothers, Chaim Gross and Adolph Gottlieb.
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CRITIC'S NOTEBOOK; On a Treasure Hunt for Art Stashed Among the Books
NYTimes - almost 12 years
Could you borrow a painting or sculpture from your local library? It's not very likely. Libraries are, as conventional wisdom suggests, about books rather than art objects. Nevertheless, significant works of art have found their way into many libraries, some acquired by purchase but most by donation. A large case in point is the main building of
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ART REVIEWS; Inspiration From Motion, Nature and Abstraction
NYTimes - about 18 years
'All-Stars' Emily Lowe Gallery, Hofstra University, Hempstead. Through Dec. 18. 463-5672. This engaging selection of 66 prints from the prominent Manhattan collectors Reba and Dave Williams covers a host of sporting subjects, from possum hunting to polo. In artistic terms, the show is equally wide-ranging. The extremes are illustrated in the polo
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Treetops: An Aura of Glamour, a Trail of Tragedies
NYTimes - almost 20 years
IN florid prose, newspaper advertisements sing the praises of a neo-Georgian 30-room-plus mansion set on 110 acres lying in both Stamford and Greenwich. The property is replete with an art studio, four greenhouses, a two-story caretaker's cottage and hiking trails. A large-scale renovation in the 80's resulted in the elimination of a tennis court
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Art in Review
NYTimes - almost 20 years
'Modern American Artists in Paris in the 1920's and 1930's' Snyder Fine Art 20 West 57th Street Manhattan Through May 24 If Paris was a vital destination for American writers in the 1920's and 30's, it was also the mecca for venturesome American artists lured by the glamour of new ideas and the need to experience them firsthand. Among the visitors,
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Review/Art; Amid Depression Sorrow, a Celebratory Message
NYTimes - about 23 years
Six decades ago, with America in the grip of the Depression, Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal Administration began to pay artists to illuminate the walls of schools, hospitals and government waiting rooms. The artists weren't always top of the line, though some, like Stuart Davis, were among the best of their time. The work was often didactic, with
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East End Art and 'Art' On Auction Block
NYTimes - almost 25 years
WHEN is an art auction not just a sale, but also a grand and daring show? When it is a first-ever, en masse celebration of Eastern Long Island's art colony, coupled with a chance to rediscover 100 years' worth of the region's unsung, overlooked or disappeared-from-view artists cheek-by-jowl with the world famous. The Lexington Avenue Armory in
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NYTimes - over 35 years
STAMFORD WORKS by Ceymour Fogel, Rhys Caparn and the late Louis Schanker comprise the show now running at the Stamford Museum and Nature Center under the title ''Three Connecticut Abstractionists'' (through Dec. 6). All achieved reputations early in their careers but fell back later on, except for Mr. Fogel, who had a solo in New York a year or so
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NYTimes - almost 36 years
Louis Schanker, a painter, printmaker and sculptor, and member of a ''protest'' group of artists in the 1930's that sought to make American art more experimental and international, died Thursday at Lenox Hill Hospital. He was 78 years old and had recently suffered a stroke. Mr. Schanker, throughout a career that spanned more than 50 years, worked
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Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Louis Schanker
  • 1981
    Age 78
    Just a few blocks from the hospital where he died in 1981 the Martin Diamond Gallery was holding a major show of his oils, sculpture and prints and his work was on exhibit at the Whitney Museum of American Art.
    More Details Hide Details By all accounts a delightful man, Schanker was suspect to some because of his joie de vivre. According to Mercury Gallery owner, Sidney Schectman, who was showing the works of the Ten from 1937–39, Rothko was by all reports a very serious person. He did not have many friends. "I know he liked Schanker. I once talked to him about him, but he told me that Schanker was a playboy of some sort even then, but a great painter and a great wood block painter you know, painted, the greatest. "But I don't know where he's going to go," he would say because he thought he was frivolous. And that's the kind of person Rothko was, terribly, terribly serious." Schanker's has remained popular and there is still continuing interest in his works. In 1989, summing up Schanker's career for a book on American abstraction, Virginia Mecklenburg wrote of "an animated expressionism that aims at a fundamental emotional structure".
  • 1978
    Age 75
    He continued to be an active part of the New York art scene with many group and solo exhibitions including two shows (1943 and 1974) at the Brooklyn Museum and a 1978 retrospective at the Associated American Artists.
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  • 1960
    Age 57
    He married stage actress and singer Libby Holman on December 27, 1960.
    More Details Hide Details She was a fierce champion of social causes and was an early supporter of civil rights. It was due to her generosity that in 1959 the young Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his wife Coretta, were able to travel to India to study firsthand the non-violent techniques espoused by Gandhi. King was always grateful to Libby for giving him this pivotal opportunity. King, Coretta and Libby and Schanker would remain lifelong friends. NOTOC__
  • 1949
    Age 46
    Schanker moved into teaching, first at the New School for Social Research and then, from 1949 until his retirement, at Bard College.
    More Details Hide Details The January 1955 Life Magazine article "Comeback of an Art", describes him as "one of the earliest U.S.woodcut artists to do abstractions, Schanker since has trained or influenced a generation of talented younger artists." He was one of the major printmakers of the 1930s.
  • 1938
    Age 35
    In 1938, Art News declared that "Louis Schanker's delightful Street Scene From My Window calls forth admiration for its delicacy of color and kaleidoscopic forms in plane geometry."
    More Details Hide Details A decade later Schanker wrote: "Though much of my work is generally classified as abstract, all of my work develops from natural forms. I have great respect for the forms of nature and an inherent need to express myself in relation to those forms."
  • 1937
    Age 34
    By 1937, even the often hostile New York Times art critic Edward Alden Jewell softened to the artist.
    More Details Hide Details When speaking of Schanker's major WPA mural at the municipal building studios of WNYC in New York, Jewell noted that Schanker had "a touch of lyric feeling".
  • 1935
    Age 32
    Schanker was a radical among radicals. His "conglomerations of color-patches, among other things", wrote the sympathetic art critic Emily Genauer in 1935, "are bound to alienate no small part of the gallery-going public."
    More Details Hide Details However, the work proved popular in the New York art scene.
  • 1933
    Age 30
    He had his first show in 1933 at the Contemporary Arts Gallery and first exhibited at the Whitney Museum in 1936.
    More Details Hide Details The Federal Government sponsored programs to assist people during the 1930s depression when there were no jobs available. Artists were included in the Public Works of Art Project and then the WPA Federal Art Project. Schanker participated in both beginning in 1933. He was an artist and supervisor in the mural and graphic arts departments. In the New York City Division he worked with many other artists including Jackson Pollock, Lee Krasner, Burgoyne Diller, Byron Browne, Milton Avery, and Stuart Davis. These were controversial times in the arts community. In 1935 he and others (Ilya Bolotowsky, Ben-Zion, Marcus Rothkowitz (aka, Mark Rothko), Adolph Gottlieb, Joseph Solman, Tschacbasov, Lou Harris, and Ralph Rosenborg) formed a group called The Ten Dissenters that protested the lack of support for American Abstract Artists by the Whitney Museum which concentrated on representational art. Schanker and Bolotowsky were also in the awkward position of having their works being shown in the museum's 1936 Annual exhibit at the same time that they were protesting. Another group, founded in 1936, of which he was a founding member, the American Abstract Artists, (AAA) arose to promote and foster public understanding of abstract art.
  • 1924
    Age 21
    Around 1924 he returned to New York, leased another studio and resumed his friendships and artwork.
    More Details Hide Details Schanker spent 1931 and 1932 attending classes at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière, painting and traveling in Paris, Italy and Spain and returned as something of a Cubist.
  • 1920
    Age 17
    In 1920 he traveled across the country.
    More Details Hide Details He lived the hobo life, joined the Sparks and then Barnum and Bailey circuses, later working as a thresher in the wheat fields of the Great Plains. There are elements in his works such as the circus murals done for the Neponsit Beach Children's Hospital and the print "Man Cutting Wheat" that reflect these experiences.
  • 1903
    Age 0
    Born in 1903.
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