This is an original handsigned woodblock print by Latvian-American artist Isac Friedlander. This work is titled: "Ghetto", it was created and printed in 1942. It is a very scarce image by this artist. It was created and printed in 1942. The image measures 9 3/4X10 7/8 inches. pencil signed titled and dated in the lower margin. This image was printed in an edition of only 26 signed proofs.. Isac Friedlander was born in 1890 in Mitau, Latvia. Those were difficult days for a captive people under the czarist yoke, but it was not long before young Isac’s assertive spirit emerged. At sixteen he was arrested and condemned to death, along with several of his classmates, for protesting compulsory uniforms and weekend curfews. His classmates were shot but his sentence was commuted to life imprisonment.
Fortunately, Friedlander’s skills in drawing and the portraits he did of his prison guards and their children came to the attention of a local functionary, who took an interest in him. In four years he was released. The war years of the 1940’s found him deeply troubled in spirit by the reports of sufferings and persecution of his people throughout Nazi-dominated Europe. Having experienced first hand in his youth the depth of man’s inhumanity to his fellow man, he now produced his heart-rending and powerful prints of the holocaust.
Friedlander’s woodcuts, wood engravings, and etchings are powerful expressions of the human condition. Death took him in 1968, but not before his spirit found renewed expression in his masterful prints of life among America’s urban blacks as the winds of social change were gathering to redress the wrongs of generations.
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