Dancer (Indian Dance) by Louis Schanker

Dancer (Indian Dance) by Louis Schanker

Dancer (Indian Dance)

Louis Schanker

Title

Dancer (Indian Dance)

 
Artist

Louis Schanker

  1903 - 1981 (biography)
Year
1944  
Technique
color woodcut 
Image Size
12 x 19 9/16" image 
Signature
pencil, lower right; "S" in a circle, lower left image 
Edition Size
11 of 25  
Annotations
titled and editioned in pencil 
Reference
Brooklyn Museum 62 
Paper
thin cream wove 
State
published 
Publisher
artist 
Inventory ID
18001 
Price
$3,000.00 
Description

This remarkable woodcut by Louis Schanker is titled "Indian Dance" in the Brooklyn Museum catalogue of his prints, but this impression is simply titled "Dance." Schanker was known for his unorthodox and creative approach to the color woodcut. Printing with oil-based inks he would often print a second, third or fourth color before the previous ones had dried, creating a merging of the color on the paper and making each impression unique. This impression has rich color, printed on a thin wove paper, which has become acidic but the oil base image remains unaffected by what is happening in the margins.

Born in 1903, Louis Schanker quit school as a teenager and joined the circus, worked in the wheat fields of the Great Plains, and rode the rails. In 1919, he went to New York and began studying art. He spent 1931 and 1932 in Paris and came back "something of a Cubist", becoming a muralist and graphic arts supervisor for the WPA and a founding member of The Ten, to which he was attached from start to finish.

By 1937, however, even a hostile New York Times critic conceded, "Mr. Schanker had a touch of lyric feeling." And in 1938, a writer for 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."

Schanker was also a founder of the American Abstract Artists and participated in its first annual exhibition in 1937. But a decade later he 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."

Schanker taught for many years, first at the New School for Social Research and then, from 1949 until his retirement, at Bard College.