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 Leonard Schwartz  (1923 - 1988)

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Lived/Active: Michigan/Ohio / France      Known for: abstract figural sculpture

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Leonard Schwartz   (1923 – 1988)

Leonard Schwartz was born in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1923 and spent most of his formative years as a youngster in Detroit.  At 16 he was a protégé of Sam Cashwan.  He attended the school of The Society of Arts and Crafts until 1941, and majored in Philosophy and Art at Wayne State University until 1943 when he entered the U.S. Navy.  After the war, he studied with Ossip Zadkine in Paris and also at the Academie de la Grande Chaumiere.  Schwartz also studied with Joseph Albers at Black Mountain College in North Caroling.  He was, for a time, director of the Denver Art Academy in Colorado.  In later years he was sculpting and teaching privately in Europe.  

Schwartz was the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1950 as a result of work exhibited in Paris.  In this country he exhibited regularly beginning in 1946, including four exhibitions in New York City.  He had three previous exhibitions in the Detroit area. 

In an exhibition in London his work received high critical acclaim, and Schwartz was welcomed as one of the best young sculptors that America had to offer.  He always considered himself an abstract artist, inspired by the human figure and organic forms.  

In an exhibition of his work at the Park Gallery in Detroit, their undated brochure on the sculpture by the artist stated:  “This exhibition represents three years of his chosen life’s work.  The figures are strongly emotional, and are severe in their compactness.  In stone and in bronze, Leonard Schwartz has unquestionably stamped his personal, yet not esoteric, image upon his sculptures.  The compressed force in these vigorous images represent the struggle inherent in the sculpture’s art – the struggle to translate the emotions of humanity, to breathe life, as it were, into the material at hand.  His focus is on the figure, and he distorts as the musician uses nuances, to reveal the harmony of the whole.”

Submitted by Edward P. Bentley, Art Researcher, East Lansing, Michigan

Undated brochure from the Park Gallery, Detroit, for a one-person show of Mr. Leonard Schwartz’s Bronze and Stone sculpture.  Information from the Francine Seders Gallery, Seattle, Washington.  

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