Modern and Contemporary Art /01 June 2003


Leonard Baskin (1922-2000)

USA, 1964
carved oakcarved oak
72 w × 34 d × 63 h in (183 × 86 × 160 cm)

Leonard Baskin was born in 1922, in New Brunswick, New Jersey, to Rabbi Samuel Baskin and May Guss Baskin. Religious themes, mythological symbolism and images of human nature have been entwined throughout his career, serving as the subjects of many of his works. Perhaps Baskin's best-known image is the bird, either as subject matter in itself, or as a form of life emanating from humanity, as a caricature of perceived human ills. "My sculptures are memorials to ordinary human beings, gigantic monuments to the unnoticed dead: the exhausted factory worker, the forgotten tailor, the unsung poet... Sculpture at its greatest and most monumental is about simple, abstract, emotional states, like fear, pride, love and envy."

provenance: Brooklyn Museum of Art, sold to benefit the acquisitions program

estimate: $25,000–35,000
result: $40,950

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