Beth Van Hoesen ~ California

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1821 Gallery & Studios: "In a career spanning more than five decades, artist and printmaker Beth Van Hoesen (1926 – 2010) created a uniquely exquisite body of remarkable graphic work that was instantly recognizable by the purity of its line. ...

"Beth Van Hoesen, a San Francisco artist born in Boise, Idaho in 1926 studied at Stanford University graduating with a B.A. in 1948 went on to study in Mexico City at the Escuela de Pintura y Escultura de la Escuela Esmeralda. Further studies at the California School of Fine Arts in San Francisco were followed by continuing work at the Academie Julian and the Acaddemie de la Grande Chaumiere in Paris. Further studies at the California School of Fine Arts, Saint-Cere in Aubusson, France and at San Francisco State College rounded out formal studies. Her distinguished career includes many honors and awards along with countless solo exhibitions throughout the country.

"Holding a secure place in the history of twentieth century west-coast graphic art, Van Hoesen’s focus was always dedicated to the interpretation of preparatory drawings as edition prints – often as many as fifty drawings were produced in the development of an etching, aquatint, drypoint or an engraving. Examples of botanical art celebrate the natural beauty of each blossom’s unique characteristic. Images are pristine and elegant, displaying the emotional qualities of different color combinations as well as revealing the elusive quality of a moment of perfection that hint at the inevitable decay ...”

Wrinkles & Creases
Nine intaglio prints and four original drawings
By Beth Van Hoesen
Introduction by Joseph Goldyne
Haiku by Lawrence G. Van Velzer
Berkeley, California: Editions Koch, 2010. Edition of 20.

13 x 15"; 28 pages. Letterpress printed on BFK Rives paper. Bound with goatskin spine and Fabriano Roma paper sides. Housed in a two-piece box covered in Cave Paper. Binding and box by Peggy Gotthold at Foolscap Press. Signed on the colophon by Peter Koch, Peggy Gotthold, Lawrence G. Van Velzer, Jerome Goldyne. Includes loose intaglio print laid in.

Colophon: "Wrinkles & Creases is an artists' book published as an édition variée that includes an Introduction by Joseph Goldyne, eighteen Haiku poems by Lawrence G. Van Velzer with four original drawings and nine intaglio prints by Beth Van Hoesen. The haiku poems were written in response to Van Hoesen's series of drawings and prints of babies. Van Hoesen's interest in drawing and creating prints of newborns began in the early 1980s. Eight of these drypoint prints were published in 1983 as a limited-edition folio, Newborns. During the last few years of her life, Van Hoesen began hand-coloring the individual prints and drawings with the idea of including these works in a special, limited-edition artists' book. Joseph Goldyne met with Van Hoesen to discuss her work and agreed to assist in the selection of prints and drawings to be included in each book as well as to write the introduction."

Introduction: "Whatever we may understand about development and birth, we do not fully understand its impact on us. The fact of a new human life, unable to care for itself, as blind to the past as to the present, yet with the potential of endless possibilities for an unknown future, always has the power to resonate in untold ways with the hopes and dreams of those who attend a birth and its aftermath. However, unprepared for the effort, what an artist rapidly takes in is something concrete: there are wrinkles and creases - something to record of line, light, and shade! Also, there is awkward movement, clutching and clinging to capture. There are the facial grimaces of gas as well as the features of an innocent sleep to record. Beth Van Hoesen is a natural for this task. ...

"The prints and drawings of newborns in the present collection are published as an edition variee artists' book that includes nine drypoints of newborns with three original, preparatory graphite and colored-pencil drawings by the artist. Most of the infants depicted in this suite are now in their middle years and hopefully flourishing ... "

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Page last update: 06.15.15


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