Antonio Frasconi

(b. 1919)

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(1919– ).

Printmaker and painter. A woodcut specialist, he has addressed subjects from literary works, as well as images of everyday American life, landscapes, and themes related to social justice. He has designed and illustrated scores of books. He often uses color to enhance bold and expressive drawing influenced by German expressionist and Japanese prints, among other sources. Born to Italian parents in Buenos Aires, he grew up in Montevideo, Uruguay, where he began his artistic training. Originally a painter, as a young man he worked also as a political cartoonist. He had already shifted his focus to printmaking before he arrived in New York in 1945. There he continued his studies at the Art Students League and the New School for Social Research (now New School). Interpreting Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass, Frasconi's The Neighboring Shore, based on more than one hundred of his own woodcuts, won the 1960 grand prize at the Venice Film Festival. Since 1957 he has lived in Norwalk, Connecticut. He remains an emeritus professor at the State University of New York in Purchase, where he began teaching in 1973. In 1951 he married printmaker Leona Pierce (1921–2002), also known for color woodcuts. Born in Santa Barbara and educated in the Los Angeles area, Pierce enrolled in 1940 at Scripps College in Claremont for two years before transferring to the Chouinard Art Institute (now California Institute of the Arts). She subsequently studied also at the Art Students League and the New School for Social Research.

Subjects: Literature — Art.

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