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Ben Shahn
Ben Shahn Original Hand Signed Litho WPA Artist Rilke Poem Lithograph Portfolio

1968

$2,800

About

"To Days of Childhood That are Still Unexplained". It depicts six female silhouette figures in long dresses or coats against a blue and pastel purple background. From the Rainier Maria Rilke portfolio, For the Sake of a Single Verse, New York, 1968 , First edition lithograph printed in colors at Atelier Mourlot, on Richard de Bas hand-made paper, from the rare, smaller, original hand signed edition of 200 that were signed in red brush, 18 x 16 inches with variable sizes, sheet 22 1/2 X 17 inches, 30 X 25 inches with mat. Ben Shahn (September 12, 1898 – March 14, 1969) was a Jewish Lithuanian-born American artist. He is best known for his works of social realism, his left-wing political views, and his series of lectures published as The Shape of Content. Shahn was born in Kaunas, Lithuania, then part of the Russian Empire, to Jewish parents Joshua Hessel and Gittel (Lieberman) Shahn. Shahn began his path to becoming an artist in New York, where he was first trained as a lithographer. Shahn's early experiences with lithography and graphic design is apparent in his later prints and paintings which often include the combination of text and image. Shahn's primary medium was egg tempera, popular among social realists. Although Shahn attended New York University as a biology student in 1919, he went on to pursue art at City College in 1921 and then at the National Academy of Design. After his marriage to Tillie Goldstein in 1924, the two traveled through North Africa and then to Europe, where he made "the traditional artist pilgrimage." There he studied great European artists such as Henri Matisse, Raoul and Jean Dufy, Georges Rouault, Pablo Picasso and Paul Klee. Contemporaries who would make a profound impact on Shahn's work and career include artists Walker Evans, Diego Rivera and Jean Charlot. In May and June 1933, he served as an assistant to Diego Rivera while Rivera executed the Rockefeller Center mural. Shahn had a role in fanning the controversy, by circulating a petition among the workers. Also during this period, Shahn met photojournalist Bernarda Bryson, who would later become his second wife. Although this marriage was successful, the mural, his 1934 project for the Public Works of Art Projects (WPA) and proposal for the Municipal Art Commission were all failures. Fortunately, in 1935, Shahn was recommended by Walker Evans, a friend and former roommate, to Roy Stryker to join the photographic group at the Resettlement Administration (RA). As a member of the group, Shahn roamed and documented the American south together with his colleagues Walker Evans and Dorothea Lange. Like his earlier photography of New York City, Shahn's photography for the RA and its successor, the FSA, Farm Security Administration, can be viewed as social-documentary. In 1939, Shahn and his wife produced a set of 13 murals inspired by Walt Whitman's poem I See America Working and installed at the United States Post Office-Bronx Central Annex. During the war years of 1942–43, Shahn worked for the Office of War Information (OWI), but his pieces lacked the preferred patriotism of the day and only two of his posters were published. His art's anti-war sentiment found other forms of expression in a series of paintings from 1944–45, such as Death on the Beach, which depicts the desolation and loneliness of war. In 1945 he painted Liberation about the Liberation of Paris which depicts children playing in the rubble.He also did a series, called Lucky Dragon, about the Daigo Fukuryū Maru (literally, Lucky Dragon No. 5), the Japanese fishing boat caught in the Bikini Atoll hydrogen bomb blast. As of 2012, an important part of this series is in the collections of Fukushima Prefectural Museum of Art. From 1961 to 1967, Shahn worked on the stained glass at Temple Beth Zion, a Buffalo, NY synagogue designed by Harrison and Abramovitz. Shahn also began to act as a commercial artist for CBS, Time, Fortune and Harper's. His well-known 1965 portrait of Martin Luther King, Jr. appeared on the cover of Time. By the mid-1950s, Shahn's accomplishments had reached such a height that he was sent, along with Willem de Kooning, to represent the United States at the 1954 Venice Biennale. He was also elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the National Institute of Arts and Letters and the Academia dell' Arte e del Disegno in Florence. Select Exhibitions "Ben Shahn: Paintings and Drawings," 1930, Edith Halpert's Downtown Gallery NYC "57th Annual American Exhibition: Water Colors and Drawings," 1946, Tate Gallery in London, England "Ben Shahn: A Retrospective," 1947, Museum of Modern Art in New York, New York "Esposizione Biennale internationale D’Arte XXVII," 1954 in Venice, Italy "Ben Shahn," 1962, Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels, Belgium; Galleria Nazionale D'arte Moderna in Rome, Italy; and Albertina in Vienna, Austria. "The Collected Prints of Ben Shahn," 1969, Philadelphia Museum of Art in Pennsylvania.

Details

  • Creator
    Ben Shahn (1898-1969, American)
  • Creation Year
    1968
  • Dimensions
    Height: 30 in. (76.2 cm)Width: 25 in. (63.5 cm)
  • Medium
  • Movement & Style
  • Period
  • Condition
    good. minor wear. please see photos.
  • Gallery Location
    Bal Harbour, FL
  • Reference Number
    1stDibs: LU3826218212

Shipping & Returns

  • Shipping
    $45 Standard Parcel Shipping
    to United States 0, arrives in 6-11 days.
    We recommend this shipping type based on item size, type and fragility.
    Ships From: Bal Harbour, FL
  • Return Policy

    A return for this item may be initiated within 3 days of delivery.

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