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Leonard Baskin

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Leonard Baskin
Mod figure-bird, graphics, sculpture
American, (1922–2000)
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A highly respected draftsman, printmaker, teacher, and sculptor, Leonard Baskin had the ability to depict in an abstract style man and his relation to the world. Whether working with bronze or wood or two-dimensional mediums, his focus remained on large heroic, but flawed human beings who at times recall photographic images of concentration-camp victims or birds with human bodies that suggest mythological forms.

Born in 1922 in New Brunswick, New Jersey, Baskin studied sculpture with Maurice Glickman at the Educational Alliance, New York City, from 1937 to 1943. He had many influences at that time including Ossip Zadkine, Henri Laurens, and Alexander Archipenko.

In 1949, he began to make wood engravings, and his attitude toward the nature of man grew more generalized, but no less moralistic or didactic. In style these works are closest to German Die Brucke prints. At this time he studied abroad at the Academie de la Grande Chaumiere, Paris, and the Accademia di Belle Arti, Florence. During this period, he got extensive familiarization with the Great European Collections, many which helped release in him the sculptural images he has since used.

For many years, he was a professor of sculpture at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts.

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