Tuesday, January 22, 2013


Antonio Frasconi always believed that art should come from a place deep within one’s self. Born in 1919 in Buenos Aires to parents who had emigrated from Italy during World War I, Frasconi grew up in Montevideo, Uruguay. He moved to New York in 1945 to study at the Art Students' League. By the 1950s he had become widely recognized as a leading graphic artist, especially in woodblock printing. Over the course of the next fifty years he illustrated and designed hundreds of books, including the poems of Langston Hughes, Pablo Neruda and Walt Whitman.

His work was patient and meticulous. Before producing a woodcut titled “Sunrise — Fulton Fish Market” in 1953, he spent three months wandering Lower Manhattan’s wharves and the holds of fishing boats. He spent hour upon hour studying “just how a man lifts a box,” he said.

For many years Mr. Frasconi, a citizen of both Uruguay and the United States, taught at Purchase College of the State University of New York. He died on January 8 at the age of 93.

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