Louis Schanker at AAA 1986


During the decade following Schanker's death his works were featured in several shows and exhibitions.

In 1981 his works were included in a show "3 Connecticut Abstractionists," at the Stamford Museum and Nature Center near his studio in Connecticut which had been planned prior to his death.

The Smithsonian continued its efforts to capture the history of the art community during the 20th century by interviewing its members. (Schanker had been interviewed in 1963 link.)  In 1981 Sidney Schectman and Benjamin Braddon the owners of the original Mercury Gallery in Manhattan were interviewed together.  Both knew Schanker and considered him a friend.  Mr. Schectman related how Rothko a fellow member of the protest group the Ten (Whitney Dissenters,) liked Schanker, thought he was a great painter and wood block printer, but felt that Schanker was a playboy who was frivolous. "that's the kind of person Rothko was, terribly, terribly serious."

Schectman describes himself as a collector of Schanker's works, right up until the time of the interview.  Braddon attended the memorial for Schanker at the Martin Diamond Gallery.   A major show of Schanker's oils was in progress when he died in 1981 and a memorial service was held for Schanker one night during the show. Long time friend and fellow artist,  Ilya Bolotowsky and others spoke movingly about Schanker.

In August of 1983 several of Schanker's works were included by longtime friend and gallery director, Sylvan Cole, in the AAA Gallery show, "The 30's Revisited."

In 1985 Martin Diamond had a second show of Schanker's oils at the gallery on the east side of Manhattan.  

In the 1985 book, American Impressions, Prints Since Pollock (Knopf,) Riva Castleman recognizes Schanker as being "the most direct tie to the burgeoning interest in the woodcut in the 1950"s ....and central to the teaching of woodcut in the New York area." 
She related the appeal of the woodcut to artists as,

"The woodblock never had to leave the artist's studio, from the moment of the first cut to the completion of the final prints. Not even a press was needed, since the prints could be taken simply by rubbing the back of a piece of paper pressed against the inked surface of the block.  This was exactly the type of work American artists favored: a mixture of personal expression, handicraft, and cost efficiency."

In 1986 The AAA gallery on 57th Street in Manhattan, held a major retrospective of Schanker's Prints and Drawings.  Una Johnson, longtime friend, supporter and Curator Emeritus at the Brooklyn Museum wrote the introduction to the show catalog. She had been the curator of  a major show of Schanker's prints at the museum in 1943.

In 1987 one of Schanker's prints, Aerial Act,  was featured as a new acquisition at the Hrschl and Adler galleries  at the same time that the Smithsonian produced a "Portrait of a Nation," series of posters to commemorate the golden anniversary of New Deal arts which included a poster of this print.

The decade ended with Schanker's works on display at the Smithsonian Museum in Washington D.C. as part of the exhibition of the Patricia and Phillip Frost Collection, American Abstraction  1930-1945, in 1989.  

1980's Clips