Westport River Gallery is proud to exhibit works by Louis Schanker (1903-1981), known as one of The Whitney Ten.His works are in collections at dozens of museums, including the Yale University Art Gallery, Museum of Modern Art, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Whitney Museum of American Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Harvard University Art Museum, Boston Museum of Fine Art.
Louis Schanker quit school as a teen and joined the circus, worked in the wheat fields of the Great Plains and rode the rails. In 1919, he went to NY and began studying art. He spent 1931-32 in Paris and returned to NY as something of a Cubist, becoming a muralist and graphic arts supervisor for the WPA and a founding member of The Ten to which he was affiliated till the end. Schankerwas a radical among radicals. His “conglomerations of color-patches, among other things,” wrote the sympathetic critic Emily Genauer in 1935, “are bound to alienate no small part of the gallery-going public.”
They did not alienate a small part of the NY art scene, and Schanker was invited to the Whitney Annual, even though he later protested against it as one of the “dissenters”. By 1937, even the hostile New York Times critic, Edward Alden Jewell, conceded, when speaking of Schanker's major WPA mural at the municipal building studios of WNYC in New York, that “Mr. Schanker” had “a touch of lyric feeling”. In 1938, Art News declared that “Louis Schanker’s delightful Street Scene From My Window calls forth admiration for its delicacy of color and kaleidoscopic forms in plane geometry.”