The Process

Louis Schanker worked during a period of time when there was great controversy over the validity of realism, abstractions that had some recognizable elements and total abstraction. 

Schanker has remarked: "Much of my work (in painting, sculpture and prints) is generally classified as abstract although all of my work develops from natural forms.  I have an inherent need to express myself in relation to those forms." 
                                       (The Tiger's Eye, No. 8. June 1948, p46).


One of Schanker's favorite subjects was sports, including football, basketball, handball, 
hockey and polo.  Here we see football newspaper clippings which became the source 
for his abstractions in ink, watercolor, woodcuts, sculpture and oil.  Careful examination of 
the clippings and the paired artwork will reveal the connection.  It is also interesting to note 
that far from hastily drawn images, there is amazing congruence when the compositions 
are transferred to different media.



 clipping                                               watercolor

New York Times, Dec. 1, 1940
(Note 3 figures in center foreground)

"Men Running"
wood block print

(note additional form to the right in clipping)


                   clipping, Herald Tribune1940                          watercolor                                    


ink                                                 oil painting



                                                     low relief sculpture
                                    (Federal Reserve collection,Washington)
                                                    "Flight to Nowhere"                 

Forms in Action 

Football Players 

Football Relief 

"Forms in Action" (Smithsonian)
black and white woodcut

"Football Players" (Smithsonian)
color woocut

"Football" (Smithsonian)
low relief sculpture

*WPA images*prints*oils*sculpture*pastels*

The Studio*exhibitions*museums*references*
*Smithsonian interview