Leon Louis Dolice Biography

Leon Louis Dolice




Leon Dolice was born in Vienna, Austria on August 14, 1892, the son of a machinest/welder. He went on to study art in Europe and viewing the works of the Masters. Dolice immigrated to the United States in 1920, finding a retreat in the European Bohemianism of Greenwich Village, he picked the streets of this landmark neighborhood as his first subjects. Concentrating on etching and with the encouragement of new found friends and artists such as George Luks and Herb Roth, he soon ventured out and devoted all his time to chronicling the architecture, back streets, dock scenes and other nostalgia that was fast disappearing from the face of Manhattan, mainly in copperplate etchings. A favorite subject for him was the Third Avenue El near one of his New York City studios on Third Avenue. He won accolades for his work, and although he traveled the East Coast recording landmarks in other cities including Washington DC, Baltimore, Chicago and Philadelphia, he always returned to his new home Manhattan.

A decline in popular favor for etchings led him to put aside his plates in the late 1930s and devote some ten years to pastels, linocuts and painting. His subject matter was almost exclusively New York City street scenes, but figurative works, country scenes, and even experiments with Abstract Expressionism at the height of its new found favor in the 1940s punctuated his career.

In 1953, after learning of the forthcoming demise of the Third Avenue El, in the shadow of which he had maintained his studio for over a decade, he once again took to his plates and press and created a final series of Third Avenue and or other New York City landmarks that were then threatened with extinction. His work brings to light aspects of nostalgic New York that survives today only in small part, whether in architecture or in spirit.

Dolice's works are in a number of notable museums and private collections, including the Museum of the City of New York; The New York Public Library Print Collection; The New York Historical Society; Georgetown University Lauinger Library; The Print Club of Philadelphia and others. In the past few years, his work has been exhibited at Hofstra Museum, Long Island, NY; with the Montauk Artists' Association; Montauk, NY and at Tribeca Gallery New York City.

Leon Dolice died in New York on November 16, 1960.

This biography was partially provided by Joe L Dolice, son of the artist to AskArt.