Contemporary Arts Center
Lois & Richard Rosenthal Center
for Contemporary Art
44 E. 6th Street,
Cincinnati, OH 45202
513 345 8400
Ben Shahn (September 12, 1898 – March 14, 1969) was a Lithuanian-born American artist. He is best known for his works of social realism, his left-wing political views, and his series of lectures published as The Shape of Content.
Shahn mixed different genres of art. His body of art is distinctive for its lack of traditional landscapes, still lifes, and portraits. Shahn used both expressive and precise visual languages, which he coalesced through the consistency of his authoritative line. His background in lithography contributed to his detail-oriented look Shahn is also noted for his use of unique symbolism, which is often compared to the imagery in Paul Klee's drawings. While Shahn's "love for exactitude" is apparent in his graphics, so too is his creativity. In fact, many of his paintings are inventive adaptations of his photography.