Beth Van Hoesen, November 2013
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. Opening November 6 and running through November 27th,Fresno’s 1821 Gallery and Studios will feature a selection of Van Hoesen’s disciplined observations and realistic expressions that are technically masterful.
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 careen 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. The exhibition includes charming bouquets placed within decorated porcelain cups as well as images of flowers delicately held by a hand insinuating gentle human presence.
A number of portfolios consisting of suites that include four drypoints in each serve to illustrate more fully Van Hoesen’s command of her chosen medium. “Cups of Flowers” and “Poppies & Peony”, along with several charming portfolios that depict various animals extend the exhibition. A number of prints drawn from a series entitled “Punks” illustrate work begun in the mid-1980s and worked on through the early 1990s that focused on young punk street people from San Francisco’s Castro District.