Large size lithograph print in elegant shades of gray, blacks and cream, 34" by 19 1/2", (and 41 1/2" by 26 1/2" in quality mid century frame), numbered 36/95 at lower left, and pencil signed at lower right, by the only recently deceased important Swiss modernist artist, HANS ERNI (1909-2015) . The subject is essentially an allegory of motherhood---a nude standing woman holding in her arms a nursing child. Even among Erni's many lithographs, this particular image stands out as monumental, iconic and important. Erni, deceased at the impressive age of 106, had a long and distinguished career as painter, sculptor, and designer. According to Wikipedia information widely disseminated online, Erni, has been described as "one of the most important living artists of our time," and the "Swiss Picasso." He was well known for illustrating postage stamps, activism, lithographs, and for the Swiss Red Cross. The artist's work has grown in admiration and awards include an Olympic Gold Medal for his sports artwork as well as the UN Peace Medal. In 2002 when Switzerland celebrated its entry into the United Nations, Erni was invited to decorate the Palais des Nations in Geneva. First apprenticed to an architectural draftsman, Erni studied at the Ecole des Artes Metiers in Lucerne. He lived in Paris in 1928-29 to study at the Academie Julian, and completed his studies in Berlin in the following year. His earliest work reveals the influence of Picasso and of some of the painters of the surrealist movement including Salvador Dali. Starting with his earliest works, he exhibited a very personal style . The Hans Erni Museum in his hometown of Lucerne hosts his work. This print appears to be in excellent condition (not examined out of the frame). See the net for much, much more on this important and highly underrated artist, the oils of whom have sold to $50,000 in the auction marketplace. Erni's death having occurred so recently, it remains to be seen whether prices for his prints will escalate dramatically---as they should. Compare the imagery to early works by Picasso. Allow for reflections in several images.
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