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Frank Kleinholz
Screenprint Serigraph Art Print WPA Artist NYC Frank Kleinholz Children Playing

1963

About the Item

Frank Kleinholz (Brooklyn, 1901 - 1987) 1963 Children playing in park Screenprint, serigraph Born in Brooklyn, New York, Frank Kleinholz was a painter based in New York City whose work spanned several art movements including Expressionism and Social Realism. His work was strongly influenced by Max Beckmann, is a late survival of the social com­mentary expressionism of the WPA era; His early lithograph works were intensely personal and reflected the influence of the Depression and the World Wars, but his palette lightened as he increasingly focused on families and the bonds between adults and children. He was contemporary of William Gropper and Ben Shahn. As the son of a blind father and hard-working mother who supported the family with a delicatessen. From early childhood, he had to earn a living and sold newspapers and ran errands for local businesses. He graduated from Fordham Law School, and at age 23 was admitted to the bar. In the mid-1930s, while practicing insurance as well as law, he began oil painting and printmaking with teachers including Yasuo Kuniyoshi and Sol Wilson. He gained quick recognition and between 1941 and 1980 participated in numerous exhibitions including the National Academy of Design, the Brooklyn Museum and the Worcester Art Institute. Born in Brooklyn, New York, Kleinholz graduated Fordham Law School in 1923. In the 1930s, he began studying painting under Yasuo Kuniyoshi and Sol Wilson. He quickly rose to prominence with the inclusion of Abstract art in the Carnegie Institute exhibition of 1941. His painting Backstreet won a purchase prize by the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Chronology His strongest influences were American Social Realists Reginald Marsh and Philip Evergood, the German Expressionists George Grosz and Kathe Kollwitz, the Mexican muralists Diego Rivera, Jorge Orozco, and David Alfaro Siqueiros, and the early 20th century Paris Modernists. Described by Newsweek as a "Brooklyn-born Gauguin," Kleinholz focused on urban life in New York, Brooklyn and Coney Island, as well as intimate, social realist scenes of parents and children, watercolor paintings of flowers and birds, and sunbathers. His political works include anti war paintings as well as depictions of peace demonstrations. His style is marked by vivid color, energetic brushwork, angular geometry, forceful lines, shortened perspective, and elements of dream and fantasy. He lived in Paris France for a while and was part of a circle that included Joseph Hirsch, Joseph Floch, Robert Gwathmey and the photographer Paul Strand. According to painter, printmaker, curator, scholar, teacher and patron, Jacob Kainen (1909-2001) "he (Kleinholz) springs from the same roots as Marc Chagall and David Burliuk." Kleinholz published with Associated American Artists (AAA), They commissioned original graphic art from Grant Wood, Thomas Hart Benton, Reginald Marsh, Jack Levine and Henry Clarence Pitz amongst many others. His work is included in numerous museum collections.
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