Artist: Irving Amen (American, 1918-2011)
Title: "Folk Song"
Date: undated, (circa 1960-1970)
Signed: "Amen", 17/90" "Folk Song"
Image size: 18" x 13"
Frame: 25" x 20" (in original period frame)
Condition: Excellent, no damage
For your consideration, a fine etching by the noted artist Irving Amen (American, 1918-2011). This fine modernist work features two female figures rendered in a dark chocolate brown against a stylized turquoise blue abstracted background. The image radiates a positive energy; it juxtaposes the symbols of the radiating sun and animated abstract graphics with the reflective qualities represented by the girl viewing the central guitar figure. This duality of action and contemplation is a reoccurring theme in Amen's works. The work is in excellent condition and is in its original period frame. The etching "Folk Song" from the same edition is in the permanent collection of the Utah Museum of Fine Arts.
A twentieth century sculptor, painter, etcher, silk-screen and woodcut artist, at the age of fourteen, Irving Amen won a scholarship to Pratt Institute, where he studied from 1932 to 1939. Amen also studied at the Art Students League in New York and the Academy Grande Chaumiere in Paris. He had his first exhibition in New York at the New School for Social Research in the 1940s, and in 1949, Amens was given a one-man exhibition at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington. Travels throughout Israel, Greece and Turkey in 1960 led to a retrospective show at the Artists House in Jerusalem
In the early 1960s, Amen taught sculpture and printmaking classes at the Pratt Institute (1961) and at Notre Dame University, South Bend, Indiana (1962). During the 1960s through 1980s, Amen's work was exhibited with the Society of American Graphic Artists, the Library of Congress and the National Academy of Design. Among his commissions were a Peace Medal commemorating the end of the Viet Nam war and for a synagogue in Columbus, Ohio, designed a stained glass window of the Twelve Tribes of Israel.
Amen's work is included in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Bibliotheque Royale, Brussels, the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, and the Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris.
Boca Raton Museum of Art
Commissions include a Peace Medal in honor of the Vietnam War and 12 stained glass windows for the Agudas Achim Synagogue in Ohio.
He is listed in Mantle Fielding Dictionary of American Painters, Sculptors and Engravers and the Dictionary of Contemporary American Artists by Paul Cummings.
Some of the museums that represent his art are:
Albertina Museum – Vienna
Baltimore Museum of Art – Maryland
Bezalel National Museum – Jerusalem
Corcoran Gallery of Art – Washington, DC
Fogg Art Museum – Massachusetts
Jewish Museum – New York
Metropolitan Museum of Art – New York
Boston Museum of Fine Arts – Massachusetts
Museum of Modern Art – New York
Philadelphia Museum of Art – Pennsylvania
Smithsonian Institution – Washington, DC
Statische Museum – Germany
Victoria and Albert Museum – England
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