Artschwager began his career as an artist in the late 1950s after pursuing a series of vocations, including carpentry and furniture design. He studied at Amédée Ozenfant's school of Fine Arts in New York on the GI Bill (1949-50). "We had already been to war, we were grown-ups. ... just starting off and deciding in my '20s to go into art. It was really a plunge," he said. Artschwager gained renown in the 1960s for sculptures and paintings that incorporate surface materials and textures drawn from the world of industrial design, such as wood veneer, Formica, and Celotex, which he referred to as "paper on a grand scale." He began to engage with drawing in earnest in the late 1960s, never committing to a signature style or subject. This drawing exemplifies Artschwager's approach toward traditional subjects, which he treated in non-traditional ways. In the late 1950s, Artschwager enrolled in a drawing workshop focused on the nude. While his skills in representing the figure are apparent here, he chose a particularly awkward pose for his subject, who is seen mid-stride and off-balance.
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