Leonard Baskin’s portraits of the eerie intersection between daydream and nightmare and between the human and animal worlds have made him one of the artistic masters of our time, and nowhere is his hold on us tighter than his darkly gripping birds.
Baskin’s Raptors include fragile watercolors and fierce, bold pen-and-ink drawings that capture the extraordinary range, vigor, intensity, and subtle sophistication of his eye and hand. In pieces such as his Crow and Raven we find the haunting images of human-bird forms beckoning us with sharp talons as they flex their muscled wings and legs. There are also the delicate forms of the Loon and Snowy Owl whose meticulous execution testifies to Baskin’s skill as an observer and interpreter of nature. Leonard’s fascination with Raptors was revisited again and again over the years. By the time of his death in 2000, there would be pieces spanning over three decades.