- Irma B. Jaffe
(b New Brunswick, NJ, Aug 15, 1922; d Northampton, MA, June 3, 2000).
American sculptor, illustrator and printmaker. Baskin studied at the New York University School of Architecture and Allied Arts (1939–41), the School of Fine Art (1941–3) and New School for Social Research (1949). He also studied at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière in Paris (1950) and the Accademia delle Belle Arti in Florence (1951). Inspired by the iconic, monolithic imagery of Ancient Egyptian and Sumerian art, and the similar stylistic qualities of Romanesque and Italian Gothic, he consistently and inventively made use of the archaic mode in such prints as the powerful woodcut Man of Peace (1952; see Fern and O’Sullivan, p. 61) as well as in his sculpture. A traditionalist, he carved in wood and stone, and modelled in clay, taking the human figure as his subject. He firmly believed that painting and sculpture should mediate between artist and viewer some moral insight about human experience, and he was convinced that abstract art could not do this. Throughout his career he rejected spatial penetration of form, preferring the holistic look of such works as the ...