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Gift of the Hawken School 2020.98.4
© Estate of Ben Shahn / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY
Ben Shahn began his career as a commercial lithographer, where he learned the techniques seen in this print.
This print belongs to a series based on the German writer Rainer Maria Rilke’s autobiographical novel The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge, which dealt with the challenge of artistic creation amidst feelings of loneliness, anxiety, and defeat. American artist Ben Shahn used evocative images to suggest rather than directly interpret the poet’s words.
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