Sam Glankoff (1894-1982) was a New York-based, American artist whose innovative techniques and contributions to the enduring language of abstract expressionism have earned him a distinct place in the history of modern art.
Primarily a self-taught painter, Glankoff was also an accomplished woodcut artist. Technically innovative, decidedly individualistic and, by his own choice, routinely isolated from the broader society and art world he found so distracting, Glankoff developed an original technique that combined aspects of print-making and painting in an all-new, modernist genre. Glankoff invented “print-paintings,” richly layered works made with colored, water-based inks applied to delicate Japanese papers. Joining several sheets of paper together to create large-format works, he produced eloquent abstractions whose primordial symbols, bold brushstrokes and spiritual energy found affinities with both the monumental art forms of ancient civilizations and the aspirational expressions of the art of his time.
In 1981, at the age of 87, Glankoff had his first-ever solo exhibition in a New York gallery; he died just six months later, after enjoying the unprecedented critical success his work received. During his lifetime, the artist never made any effort to gain public attention for his art. Today, his works may be found in many public, private and corporate collections, including those of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York.
Photo Credit: Winnie Denker, Copyright 1982
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