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Beth Van Hoesen: Fauna & Flora


From her firehouse studio and home, printmaker Beth Van Hoesen (1926–2010) made a career from observing creatures, and casual moments with sensitivity and diligence. She worked from life, drawing nudes and newborn babies, landscapes and buildings, vegetables, fruits, flowers, wild animals, and family pets. Van Hoesen would spend more than 50 years making traditional prints with a modern approach to the arrangement of space on a plane. She continually sought the elegance and economy in the refined line, never content until a print was just right and the essence of her subject had been perfectly, cleanly expressed. Beth Van Hoesen: Fauna & Flora devotes two essays to the dutiful renderings of flowers and animals for which Van Hoesen is best known. Using curator, artist, and printer interviews alongside quotations from Van Hoesen’s unpublished 1981 journal, Bob Hicks examines her work within the context of the contemporary art world and the history of figurative art.
Hardcover Smyth-sewn book, with jacket
144 pages with more than 90 color illustrations
Includes Index of Artworks

• High-quality, premium stock matte art paper
• Exceptional color reproduction
• Printed with soy-based inks
• Sewn binding ensures long-lasting enjoyment

Size: 8.875 x 10 in.

ISBN 9780764968501

Beth Van Hoesen

In preparation for one of her delicately executed figurative prints, Beth Van Hoesen (American, 1926–2010) sometimes made dozens of drawings. The meticulous San Francisco artist studied with abstract expressionist Clyfford Still and figurative painter David Park, who became a major influence for Van Hoesen. Park inspired her to eschew abstraction for the expressive realism seen in her exquisite florals, still lifes, and animal studies. Over decades of work, she became known for her finely crafted animal and flower prints and personal portraits, which demonstrate striking composition and careful use of texture. She aimed to get to the essence of what she was observing, be it a flower, a rabbit, or an intriguing human, and always in her own crisp, expressive realism. An acknowledged master of drawing and printmaking, Van Hoesen exhibited worldwide and is represented in the collections of major museums, as well as in several artist monographs.