Slaughtered Houses by Irving Amen
16 x 21" image
pencil, lower right
pencil titled and numbered lower left; dated lower right
Artists Studio / Kainen: Page 28
published, color; ii of ii
This expressionist woodcut with the twisted houses and violent sky is a departure from Amen's usually more figurative, hopeful work in the medium. He also printed this image in an edition of 40 two years earlier. Irving Amen was born in New York City in 1918. A scholarship to the Pratt Institute was awarded to him when he was fourteen years old and he spent seven years in life classes perfecting his drawing.
In 1953, Amen traveled throughout Italy. This resulted in a series of eleven woodcuts, eight etchings and a number of oil paintings. One of these woodcuts, “Piazza San Marco #4” and its four woodblocks constitute a permanent exhibit of block printing in color at the Smithsonian Institution. Travel in Israel, Greece and Turkey in 1960 led to a retrospective show at the Artist's House in Jerusalem.
Irving Amen has taught at Pratt Institute and at the University of Notre Dame. He had a show of woodcuts at the Artists Studio in NYC. Commissions include a Peace Medal in honor of the Vietnam War. He created designs for 12 stained glass windows 16 feet high depicting the Twelve Tribes of Israel, commissioned by Agudas Achim Synagogue in Columbus, Ohio. Amen illustrated the classic, Gilgamesh, for the Limited Editions Club.