Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Rising Up: Leonard Baskin’s Portrait Gallery

When Daedalus crafted wings of feathers and wax for his son Icarus, he included the warning to not fly too close to the sun. As anyone who knows Greek mythology remembers, Icarus ignored the warning and plunged into the sea to his death. Artist Leonard Baskin never forgot the story of Icarus, which merged two of his greatest interests—men and birds—and created a woodcut of the fallen son in an egg-like oval, as if the tragic boy were truly born a bird. When Alfred Appel, Jr., a literary scholar as well as author on modern art and jazz, came across Baskin’s literary-tinged art in the 1960s, he fell, too—in love. Leonard Baskin: Art from the Gift of Alfred Appel, Jr., which runs at the Delaware Art Museum through January 9, 2011, tells the story of that collector’s love affair with Baskin’s art and Baskin’s love affair with the great artists in words and images that inspired his paintings and sculptures. Please come over to Picture This at Big Think to read more of "Rising Up."

[Image: Leonard Baskin (1922-2000). Icarus, 1967. Color woodcut on paper, 32 x 21 ¾ inches. Gift of Alfred Appel, Jr., 2009. © Estate of Leonard Baskin, Courtesy Galerie St. Etienne, New York.]

[Many thanks to the Delaware Art Museum for providing me with the image above and press materials for Leonard Baskin: Art from the Gift of Alfred Appel, Jr., which runs through January 9, 2011.]

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