Chaim Koppelman


Chaim Koppelman (November 17, 1920 – December 6, 2009) was an American artist, art educator, and Aesthetic Realism consultant. Best known as a printmaker, he also produced sculpture, paintings, and drawings. A member of the National Academy of Design since 1978, he was president of the Society of American Graphic Artists (SAGA), which presented him with a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2004. He established the Printmaking Department of the School of Visual Arts in 1959, and taught there until 2007.

Koppelman was an early student of Aesthetic Realism, the philosophy founded in 1941 by Eli Siegel, which is based on the principle, "All beauty is a making one of opposites, and the making one of opposites is what we are going after in ourselves". This principle informed Koppelman's art, teaching, and his work as an Aesthetic Realism consultant. About the importance of this principle to art and life, Koppelman stated, "When Eli Siegel showed that what makes a work of art beautiful – the oneness of opposites – is the same as what every individual wants, it was one of the mightiest and kindest achievements of man's mind".

Koppelman's art is noted for its originality, masterful technique, humor, and power. He is represented in most major print collections, including New York's Museum of Modern Art, Guggenheim Museum, Whitney Museum, Metropolitan Museum, New York Public Library, Brooklyn Museum, Philadelphia Museum of Art, National Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, and Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C., and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. A retrospective exhibition at the Museo Napoleonico in Rome (2011–12) exposed his work to an international audience.

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