Louis Schanker Carving 1968 
 1964-1969 The Evolution of the Circle Image - Sculpture 


In January of 1964 Schanker exhibited several pieces of his new sculptures at the 23rd annual Federation of Modern Painters and Sculptors show at Lever House at Park Avenue and 54th Street in New York City.   His first major exhibition of his new sculpture came in May of 1964 at the Granite Gallery in New York City. These pieces transformed the circles and dots and swirls of Schanker’s last 15 years into three-dimensional balls.  In many of the pieces the wood was worked in such a way to allow the balls to be free moving within a wooden matrix.  The exhibit included some of the original sketches used to design the sculptures. Schanker encouraged people to touch and move the balls.  He even invited students from the Lighthouse for the Blind School to come and visit the exhibition and “feel” the works.   Several of the sculptures were fashioned from porch posts from his Sag Harbor farm house.    Harold Rosenberg said of Schanker in his review of the exhibit,


          “Louis Schanker is one of those blessed craftsmen who can lose himself in his
            materials as in a vice.  Now with wood carving as his latest addiction, he has
            uncovered as a motif the shape of the lumber’s origin, the intrinsic nut…”


In 1964 Schanker left Bard, ending an over 30 year career as a formal educator during which he passed on his unique printmaking and painting techniques to another generation of artists.  The author and NPR radio commentator, Daniel Pinkwater, who was a student of Schanker’s at the time, offers some insight into his retirement as shown in the attached clippings.  Similarly, the 1963 Bard Alumni magazine hints that Schanker’s  activism on the art scene continued onto the college campus.


In April of 1966 he had a second showing of his recent Sculptures at the Dorsky Gallery on Madison Avenue in New York City.  Leonard Lyons of the New York Post reported that “collector Joe Hirshhorn bought three major [Schanker] works.”  Two of which are now in the inventory of the Smithsonian at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden.  The Smithsonian also has another work from this show as well as two earlier Schanker sculptures from the 1930’s.  The show catalogue also lists one work, The Lovers, as having been loaned from the collection of the critic Harold Rosenberg.


In 1966 and 1967 Schanker's works were selected for the East Hampton New York Guild Hall Artists Annual.  Another Guild Hall show, Artists of the Region in August of 1966 featured the works of Schanker and five other Hampton artists.


One of his sculptures, which had been bronzed, was included in the opening show of the Stamford Connecticut Museum's Sculpture Garden in 1966.  A bronze sculpture from this period may still be found on the Treetops estate grounds in Stamford.


1964 - 1969 Clippings