Traveling to a Museum Show
A few weeks ago, I saw the Anders Zorn (1860-1920) exhibit in San Francisco. Zorn is one of my favorite artists, and I’ve harvested books and vintage magazine articles about him for a decade, but I’d never seen his work in person. The exhibit was overwhelmingly good, and my artist friends and I were reprimanded more than once to keep our fawning faces the required 16 inches away from the work.
|Mona & Karin 17 7/8 x 11 13/16 Watercolor by Anders Zorn|
of his mother and half sister done in 1885
|The Waltz 13 1/4 x 8 15/16 Etching by Anders Zorn|
|Pulling a drypoint after a spin through the press|
|The finished drypoint plate, on a stack of paper torn to size, ready for inking & printing|
|Using a scribe to engrave crosshatching in the surface of the plexiglass – which|
will hold a lot of ink and create some nice darks.
|A small edition of 10 prints, drying in the studio|
You can see a 3.5 minute video of this print being made on my youtube channel here.
You can read about the best ink mixture for drypoint according to the master printmaker at Crown Point Press here.
Getting Back to Work
I returned home with an ardent desire to get to work. The first piece on my list was an unfinished drypoint on plexiglass – shown in this post. Working on it was an opportunity to ponder and reflect on Anders Zorn, the man who came from humble beginnings, and became an accomplished artist. I was surprised to learn that he suffered from anxiety and deep depression. He never had children, but he painted and sketched portraits of his wife Emma that bear witness to his love for her. He must have been meticulous in his conviction to work at his art every day, and I’m so moved & grateful to have seen the passion in his paintings & printmaking, up close, face to face. Which museum exhibits have you attended that left you moved and inspired to work harder?
Thanks for stopping by, and I’ll see you in the next post.
P.S. You can subscribe to get each new post via email by signing up here.
Zorn had to overcome a certain amount of xenophobia to break into the French art word. “The press reported stories such as a bas les estrangers,’ ” he wrote in his autobiographical notes. “In one of those long, anonymous articles there was no doubt that I was being targeted. Under these conditions, we foreigners stuck close together. My countrymen and other Scandinavians, along with Americans, were the closest the most sympathetic. ” As for the Societe des Peintres-Graveurs Francais, foreign artists such as Haden, Alphonse Legros, Joseph Pennell, and James McNeil Whistler were strictly excluded from membership but were allowed to show their work by special invitation. Camille Pissarro, a Danish citizen by virtue of his birth in St. Thomas, then a possession of Denmark, was so incensed at being branded an “alien” that he vowed to reject any invitation to show with the group. He joined forces with Mary Cassatt, another castoff who had also shown with the Peinters-Graveurs before its official incorporation, in a two person exhibit mounted in adjoining rooms at Durand-Ruel to coincide with the 1891 show of the “patriots”, as he sarcastically referred to the societaires.
Anders Zorn – Sweden’s Master Painter -from an essay on his printmaking by James A. Ganz