Joe Lasker (1919-2015)
Prices range from $2,500 to $35,000
Joseph Leon Lasker was born in New York in 1919 to Romanian immigrants. In high school, he entered the painting competition of the Treasury Department's Fine Art Section and won commissions for still-extant murals in the Calumet, MI, and Millbury, MA, post offices. At night, he studied at, and graduated from, Cooper Union art school.
Joe Lasker was the last living member of the 48 prominent realists - including Edward Hopper, John Sloan and Raphael Soyer--who wrote for Reality, the mid-Fifties polemical journal that argued against non-representational art. "I feel that much of American art of the last 60 years has something missing, namely narrative," Lasker said in an interview. "Without narrative there would be little left of the art of the Old Masters, of 20th-century expressionism and surrealism. There would be no Guernica by Picasso."
The New York Times art critic Howard DeVree wrote of Lasker, "There is a psychological warmth and penetration in the work...especially stimulating canvasses...marvellously effective...a tour de force." His oil paintings and other depictions of cityscapes, landscapes, portraits, fantasies, interiors and still lifes hang in the permanent collections of the Whitney, Smithsonian, Hirshhorn, Philadelphia, Tel Aviv and other museums.
He illustrated and/or wrote children's books, including American Library Association Notable Books Merry Ever After (1976) and The Boy Who Loved Music (1979) for Viking Press. His prizes include Prix de Rome and Guggenheim Fellowships and awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the National Academy of Design, where he was National Academician and secretary.
Joe Lasker One-man shows: * Kraushaar Galleries, New York: 1951, 1955, 1959, 1964, 1970, 1974, 1979, 1982, 1987, 1991, 1994, 1997, 2000, 2003 * Philadelphia Art Alliance
Joe Lasker Group exhibitions: many national and international shows, including: * Metropolitan Museum of Art * Art Institute of Chicago * Whitney Museum of American Art * National Academy of Design * Barbican, London, England * Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts * Cincinnati Art Museum * Carnegie Institute * Department of State * West Corporation
He died December 3 at age 96 of congestive heart failure in Norwalk, CT.
Collection at the Smithsonian American Art Museum: Click Here
Zoomer Magazine: Click Here
Toronto Life: Click Here
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