The Builders - Framed Original Lithograph by Duchein
This framed original lithograph was done in grayscale by New York City artist Delbart Duchein. Although born in Florida in 1942, Duchein became a confirmed New Yorker after he visited there as a teenager. Landscapes and buildings in NYC were his inspiration and muse for his art. This print, titled "The Builders," depicts a nude man dwarfed by the geometric, cubist pieces of a deconstructed building he is reassembling.
The scene has the flavor of the Art Deco murals produced during the Great Depression by artists hired by the Treasury Department’s Section of Painting and Sculpture "for the embellishment of public buildings.” More than 1100 post offices were decorated with works of art from 1934 to 1943. The art displayed in New York City Post Offices was certainly available to Duchein to influence some of his art. As a thirty year old artist, Duchein was settled in NYC, hawking his art on the streets to everyone from U.N. diplomats to hot dog vendors.* In 1978, his sister founded the famous handwear company LaCrasia Gloves and Duchein created a trompe l'oeil painting on the aluminum front of the building, with angels and a green coat of arms on a pink marbleized background.
The lower left margin bears Duchein's hand-written pencil signature and his blind stamp embossed next to it, while the penciled title is lower right. The sight size of the print is 19 inches by 15 inches; it's surrounded by a 2 1/4 inch wide charcoal mat. The frame is a made of gleaming silver colored metal, plain and narrow at the front and wider and grooved on the sides. It's an excellent choice for the lithograph, having an industrial feel to it. The framed size is approximately 24 by 20 inches and the artwork weighs 5 3/4 pounds. It's backed by a sheet of cardboard with a sturdy metal hanger. Overall in very good condition, with the frame having a few small nicks and scratches, it displays handsomely, an eye-catching artwork in any room.
*This information was taken from a 1972 article in The New York Times, which reported that "A challenge to the constitutionality of the city's street peddlers' regulations by a 30‐year‐old artist was dismissed in State Supreme Court in Manhattan. In rejecting the suit against the city, Justice Sidney R. Asch noted that the artist, Delbart Duchein of 210 West 70th Street, had not only failed to answer 31 Criminal Court summonses issued for alleged violations of the city's street peddling laws, but had also failed to obtain the certificate required for collecting city and state sales taxes."