Sam Glankoff

Sam Glankoff was enigmatic and virtually unknown until six months prior to his death. His work was displayed in a public setting only twice in his lifetime: once at the Whitney Studio Club in the 1920s and again, at the urging of a friend, in 1981. Inspired by calligraphic image-making, Glankoff is credited with inventing the art-making technique of print painting. He began each work as a gridded sketch in colored pencil, pastel, and gouache. The sketches were then reproduced on Masonite boards using charcoal and acrylic, which were coated in inks mixed with glycerin to control their drying rate. The ink was then transferred to water-saturated rice paper by rolling on the ground color and later transferring the finer details. The spontaneous energy of Glankoff’s sketches is contained and reproduced in this rigid art-making process, a juxtaposition favored by the artist.