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Antonio Frasconi's parents emigrated from Arezzo to Buenos Aires, where he was born in 1919. He grew up in Montevideo and moved to the United States at age twenty-six, establishing himself as the foremost woodblock artist of his generation. Reflecting his European and Latin American background, his work has exemplified a strong social conscience even during those postwar decades when most American artists were turning away from explicitly political imagery. His extended series of prints and paintings, Los Desaparacedos, bears eloquent witness to the horrors of state-sponsored terrorism in our time and, by implication, to American support of those murderous regimes responsible.
That Frasconi is no simple ideologue the following interview should make clear. His many homages to poets and fellow artists--most recently an artist's book on the death of Pasolini and its suspicious circumstances--attest to a humanistic and cosmopolitan sensibility. He has also been a dedicated teacher at the State University of New York, Purchase, for twenty years, receiving the Distinguished Teaching Award in 1986. As his colleague there I have been keenly aware of his profound influence on more than one generation of students.
Antonio Frasconi: The trouble with this age . . . We live in an age where words are really more important than what you do with images. If you deal with images, it's better if you explain it than just show it. That's what my problem is. What …