Interesting, well-crafted panel, the design very Art Deco in style, featuring a male nude in reddish brown silhouetted against a silvery background. The panel measures 11 1/2" by 9 1/2" plus 1" wide frame, and is signed in the wet clay at lower right by artist HAL ALTMAN (1922-2011). There is a fine three-dimensional quality to the panel, the hardened clay painted in these two tones, which are so reminiscent of the Deco era. At first I thought the artist might be the Harold Altman who is known for his prints, but further internet research (Los Angeles Times obituary, August 2011) reveals the artist as one Irving Harold Altman of Mission Viejo, CA. Mr. Altman was born in Philadelphia. For the greater part of his career he worked as a teacher in the Los Angeles Unified School District, and as a general leader and visionary in the education field, developing model schools. A so-called "second career" that developed late in life involved his artistic pursuits; he had clear ability in the field of sculpture. This piece bears a framer's label from Mission Viejo, so I am comfortable with the identification of the artist. Condition is excellent.
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