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Monday, May 14, 2012

Racine Art Museum Celebrates Beth Van Hoesen

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Many artists have extraordinary careers and yet remain relatively unknown to the masses. The Racine Art Museum (RAM) presents the work of one such artist from the San Francisco area in the upcoming exhibition “Beth Van Hoesen: The Observant Eye.”

Van Hoesen (1926-2010), who was inspired by German artist Albrecht Dürer, excelled at drawing and printmaking—her images have graced note cards and calendars. Prestigious institutions, including New York's Museum of Modern Art and the Art Institute of Chicago, have collected her delicate works on paper, but few people would recognize her name.

Van Hoesen painted animals, flowers, nudes and portraits, showcasing the individual personality of these living objects. Images often float on an abstract, colored background that creates a serene atmosphere, allowing the featured animal, flower or person to resonate with the viewer.

Select studies in the exhibition offer a look into Van Hoesen's process, shedding light on the complexity of her final works and the printmaking process as a whole. An image marked with exact color decisions, specific fine lines, personal notations and shading suggestions in the margins demands attention from the viewer. The studies provide insight into a master artist's mind.

Van Hoesen's prints were never sentimental. They were filled with details that served as a contrast to the background's timeless simplicity. A vision of hers wouldn't just capture the general characteristics of flowers, but rather a particular flower. Only a careful, patient and passionate eye could render nature in such revealing warmth. The museum celebrates Van Hoesen and her career with this elegant exhibition, which runs May 20-Sept. 9.

Art Happenings


Spring Art Walk

Downtown Delafield

The works of 50-plus artists line the streets of downtown Delafield for the weekend. Live performances provide the background for this entertaining event that begins 5 p.m. Friday, May 18, and continues through Saturday, May 19.

Milwaukee Area Teachers of Art 71st Annual Membership Exhibition 2012

Zimmerman Architectural Studios

2122 W. Mount Vernon Ave.

A reception for this popular art exhibition will be held 5-6:30 p.m. May 19.