Ben Shahn Silent Night Color screenprint 1949 Edition 62/200 26 x 20 in. Signed lower right Some wear to vintage frame
Ben Shahn (1898-1969) was a Lithuanian-born American artist and member of the Social Realist movement. His expressive figurative paintings, murals, and prints were inexorably tied to his pursuit of social justice and lifelong activism within leftist political beliefs.
Shahn was renowned for his anguished, searingly bold imagery. The artist protested against social injustice and honored ordinary people. For Shahn, art was a powerful tool for sociopolitical commentary and for urging and effecting change. As he asserted: “If we are to have values, a spiritual life and a culture, these things must find the imagery and interpretations through the arts.”
The screenprint offered here was created the year after then-popular Look magazine named Shahn one of the “World’s Ten Best Artists”. Originally created as a small Christmas greeting sent to friends, Shahn enlarged the image and offered it for sale as a limited edition print.
Today, Shahn’s works are held in the collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, the Tate Gallery in London, and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., among others.