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Armin Landeck


Armin Landeck, a retrospective exhibition of the American artist's prints with related drawings, paintings, and illustrated books, will be on view at the Georgia Museum of Art from December 13, 2003 until February 8, 2004.

Born in Wisconsin, Armin Landeck (1905-1984) studied at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and Columbia University. During his student days in New York, he took classes at the Arts Students League and explored the city's museums and galleries. It was during this time that he began experimenting with printmaking, producing his first print The Armenian. Thus, began a lengthy artistic career. Nearly 100 prints covering the span of his career are included in this exhibition. Best known for his haunting views of Manhattan and architectural interiors, Landeck also recorded still-life arrangements and landscape settings in Connecticut. (right: Armin Landeck (1905-1984), North River Vista, 1932, lithograph on wove paper, Georgia Museum of Art, University of Georgia; gift of June and Norman Kraeft)

In the 1930s, Landeck joined forces with Martin Lewis to open the School of Printmakers in George Miller's 14th Street Studio in New York. Together, the artists offered classes on lithography, etching, drypoint, mezzotint, and wood engraving. Sadly, the Depression forced them to close their school only after a year. But Landeck continued to emerge as a towering force in New York's artistic circles as he experimented with different media such as copper engraving. A member of the Society of American Etchers (known today as the Society of American Graphic Artists), he was also elected to the prestigious National Academy of Design, the Institute of the American Academy, and the Institute of Arts and Letters. A recipient of the Guggenheim Fellowship, he won several other acclaimed awards.

At a time when Manhattan's skyline was transformed dramatically in the first few decades of the 20th century, Landeck's prints revealed the dense majesty of the cityscape dotted with architectural masterpieces like the Woolworth and Chrysler buildings. His prints also reveal a preoccupation with shadows, an element that featured heavily in early black-and-white cinema, particularly in film noir. The unusual angles, lonely streets, and nocturnal settings in his images can be related to the poignant loneliness of urban life depicted by Landeck's contemporaries like Edward Hopper, John Sloan, and Martin Lewis.

A brochure with essays written by June and Norman Kraeft and Romita Ray accompanies this exhibition. A film noir series will be screened in January and early February.

On view in the George-Ann and Boone Knox Gallery and the Lamar Dodd Gallery, Armin Landeck is generously sponsored by Alfred Heber L. Holbrook Society member Mr. C.L. Morehead, Jr., by the W. Newton Morris Charitable Foundation, and by the Friends of the Museum. Romita Ray, curator of the Mark and Debra Callaway Department of Prints and Drawings, organized the exhibition.

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