BLASHKO--Abe, 90, artist and political satirist, died on January 13 from complications of pneumonia. Born to Marx and Esther Blashko, pre-deceased by sister Rebecca and brother Leo, he is survived by his sister Sara Alchermes, her daughter Adria and two grandnieces. Born and raised in Seattle, WA, Abe began his professional career in 1938 with a one-man exhibit of twenty-five drawings at the Seattle Art Museum (SAM). Kenneth Callahan of the Seattle Post Intelligencer noted in his review that Abe's drawings were fully developed, remarkable for a young man only 18 years old. Tall and very slim, he still managed to hold a job on the Seattle docks as a longshoreman during the Depression while continuing his artwork. In 1943, he moved to New York City finally landing in Paramount Studios as an animator, eventually moving into the commercial art world. Keenly aware of the continuing struggles of the working class and atrocities of WWII, he published cartoons in progressive magazines and newspapers. He was affiliated with various galleries, most recently (1987) with the Susan Teller Gallery where in June 2010, he had a seventy-five year retrospective. His work is in many private collections throughout the United States and abroad and in many permanent public and university museum collections. In a recent letter to Patricia Junker, curator at SAM, Abe explained what inspired his drawings and lithographs: "The turbulent social and political events of the 1930s were major contributors to my early development of a point of view. I was able to feel the pulse of that period and was fascinated with the faces and activities of the people around me, a fascination with their work, play, determination, strength, greed and evil." On Saturday, 29 January, family and friends gathered at the Susan Teller Gallery to view Abe's work and to offer him a toast for enriching their lives. No one will forget Abe's genius, his talent, and his formidable wit.

Published by New York Times on Feb. 13, 2011.
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