176 pages, colour illustrations
From her firehouse studio and home, printmaker Beth van Hoesen (1926–2010) made a career from observing creatures, casual moments, and overlooked things with sensitivity and diligence. She worked from life, drawing nudes and newborn babies, landscapes and buildings, vegetables, fruits, flowers, wild animals, and family pets.
Raised in the American West, Van Hoesen settled with her artist husband Mark Adams in San Francisco, where she would spend more than fifty 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 Using curator, artist, and printer interviews alongside quotations from Van Hoesen's unpublished 1981 journal, Bob Hicks examines her work within the context of the contemporary art world and the history of figurative art. More than ninety prints and drawings illustrate Van Hoesen's mastery of color and line in her effort to intimately and meticulously document the tangible world as she saw it.
"Inventive, unassuming prints and drawings of flowers and animals that take on a stunning, sophisticated charm."
– Shelf Awareness
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Bob Hicks has written about the art of Beth Van Hoesen in two previous books, Beth Van Hoesen: Catalogue Raisonné of Limited-Edition Prints, Books, and Portfolios and Beth Van Hoesen: The Observant Eye. His reviews and cultural essays have been published in Biblio, American Theatre, Prologue, Art Scatter, The Oregonian (where he was a staff critic for many years), the Oregon Journal, and elsewhere. He is a senior writer and editor at the online cultural journal Oregon ArtsWatch. He lives in Portland, Oregon, with his wife and children.