Armin Landeck (American, 1905-1984)
Armin Landeck was born in 1905 in Crandon, Wisconsin. He received his Bachelors of Architecture from Columbia University in 1927, and studied life drawing with George B. Bridgman at the Art Students League. In the 1940s Landeck met English printmaker Stanley William Hayter, and furthered his study of printmaking at the school-workshop Atelier 17.
Landeck began printmaking while still at Columbia University, and bought a second-hand press from the Kelton Company that he used to pull his first print in 1927. He married the same year and spent the following year and a half on his honeymoon traveling and studying the art and architecture of Europe, drawing and etching plates along the way. In 1929 when he returned to New York, he was unable to get a job at an architectural firm, and he moved his family to East Cornwall, Connecticut. He decided to devote his time to printmaking and teaching. In 1931, he was offered a teaching position at the Brearly School and remained there until his retirement in 1958.
Having gained an affinity for teaching, in the fall of 1934 he, along with Martin Lewis, opened the School for Printmakers at George Miller’s lithography studio. However, the school only remained open through the winter of 1935 due to the economic climate. From 1934-1942, Landeck was very productive, creating citycapes representing a lonely and barren New York City. These won him popular and critical acclaim, and established his reputation as a skillful printmaker. In 1940 he met Stanley William Hayter who invited him to his workshop Atelier 17, where Landeck learned engraving and the use of the burin. He produced his first copper engraving at this time. During the following ten years he continued to use drypoint and etching in his prints as well as pure copper engraving, but engraving would become his preferred medium. He won fourteen awards during this time, including three for his print Rooftop.
In the 1950s his work became more abstract, and Landeck used larger plates to achieve bold, compelling lines, but realism was always at the base of his work. In 1953, he received the John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship to work in Europe. He spent most of his time in Paris, where he used Hayter’s studio and press at Atelier 17. Landeck continued to produce prints until the last years of his life, which include scenes of New York City, his greatest source of inspiration. He was elected a National Academician, a Guggenheim fellow, a member of the Society of American Etchers and Society of American Graphic Artists. Armin passed away in 1984.