Title: Nacimiento en la tierra baja. [Birth in the Underworld.]
Antonio Frasconi (1919-2013)
Medium: Lithograph, c.1950.
Edition unknown, but small.
Signed and titled in pencil. It is unusual for Frasconi to do a lithograph, he primarily is known for his woodcuts.
Image 18 x 21 3/4" (45.7 x 55 cm).
Condition: Overall very good condition, no stains or marks in the sheet, very mild overall toning.
Antonio Frasconi (1919-2013) (Uruguayan/American) was an artist, teacher, and author recognized for his woodcuts, artist's books and children's books. Time Magazine called him America's foremost practitioner of the ancient art of the woodcut, and The Art Journal called him the best of his generation.
Frasconi was born on April 28, 1919, in Montevideo, Uruguay. His parents were Italian immigrants who had fled Europe during WWI. His father, Franco Frasconi, was a chef, and his mother, Armida Carbonia Frasconi, managed restaurants and worked as a seamstress. Frasconi loved to read and draw. He studied at Circulo de Bellas Artes. However, he tired of copying work of other artists and at age twelve he took a position as a printer's apprentice. He was producing left leaning illustrations for publications in his teens. He liked the work of Dore and Goya and was influenced by an exhibition of French impressionist and post-impressionist works, especially the woodcuts of Paul Gauguin. Frasconi often drew inspiration for his art from social and political issues. In a 1994 interview he stated "A sort of anger builds in you, so you try to spill it back in your work."
In 1945 his work was recognized in the United States and he received a one-year scholarship to study at the Art Students League. A year later his work was exhibited in the Brooklyn Museum followed by an exhibition at the Santa Barbara Museum in California. He settled in New York City, and his first gallery exhibition was in the Weyhe Gallery in 1948. The same year he began studying at The New School in New York where he would later teach.
On July 18, 1951, he married the artist, Leona Pierce, and together they had two children, Pablo and Miguel. In 1957, looking for a place to raise their two children, they moved to Norwalk, Connecticut. The home they built there would house them for the remainder of their lives.
As an artist he split his time between woodcut images for sale as individual objects, artist's books and children's books. He produced a large body of woodcuts, however, often in very small editions. The images were often of political and social issues that interested him, the beautiful landscapes around his home in Norwalk, and working people.
His work is in national and international collections including the National Museum of Visual Arts Uruguay; Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris; Metropolitan Museum of Art; Museum of Modern Art; New York Public Library; National Gallery of Art; Smithsonian; National Portrait Gallery, as well as many other institutions.