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Man of Peace

Leonard Baskin

American (1922-2000) 
Man of Peace (1952)
The Harold Hugo Collection of Prints and Drawings, 1980.10.4

The lines that articulate this figure’s sinewy legs and dark shirt appear to merge with the barbed wire that envelops him. He gazes intently at the viewer and holds a dove that struggles to fly away. Of his monumental woodcuts, Leonard Baskin writes, “I think of the series… as a kind of ambulatory mural. They are insistently black, complexly cut, and reasonably successful in causing alarm, misgivings, and exaltation.”


Man of Peace is the equivalent in woodcut of Baskin’s life-size figures in wood and bronze. The artist tended to use printmaking for more direct political messages than sculpture. Man of Peace evokes the then-recent Holocaust, Korean War (1950-1953), and the anxiety of the atomic age. It is one of several prints by sculptors, including works by Kiki Smith and Alison Saar, displayed in this gallery.

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