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  • Design Credit: Samantha Todhunter Design Ltd., Photo Credit: Oliver Clarke. Dimensions: H 21.25 in. x W 26 in.
  • Design Credit: Lucy Harris Studio, Photo Credit: Francesco Bertocci. Dimensions: H 21.25 in. x W 26 in.
  • Design Credit: Timothy Godbold, Photo Credit: Karl Simone. Dimensions: H 21.25 in. x W 26 in.
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Gene Kloss
Pueblo Firelight Dance, 1950s American Modernist Etching, New Mexico Village

1952

$6,250

About the Item

"Pueblo Firelight Dance (Edition 35)" is a black and white etching on paper by Kloss, Gene (Alice Geneva Glasier) (1903-1996) from 1952 of a Pueblo village in a nightscape with a fire and figures dancing around it. Presented in a frame, outer dimensions measure 21 ¼ x 26 x 1 inches. Image sight size 12 ½ x 17 inches. Etching is clean and in good vintage condition - please contact us for a detailed condition report. Provenance: Private collection, Denver, Colorado Expedited and international shipping is available - please contact us for a quote. About the Artist: Gene Kloss is considered one of America’s master printmakers. Beginning her career in California, it was not until she moved to Taos, New Mexico, and began her life’s work of its landscape and peoples that she received national acclaim. Just as compelling as her subject matter was her creative, experimental approach to printing. Referring to her etching as "painting," she applied acid directly onto the plate with a fine Japanese brush or a pencil. Achieving a wide variety of tones and smooth color gradients, she developed a style characterized by deep, rich blacks and haloed white regions of light. Born Alice Geneva Glasier, she got her Bachelors Degree of Arts from the University of California, Berkeley (1924) and studied at the California School of Fine Arts (1924-25). In a senior-year drawing class, the professor, Perham Nahl, held up a damp intaglio print from Kloss’ first plate presciently predicted she was destined to become a printmaker. So relying upon manuals, she set upon a course of self-education, which allowed her to be more daring in her explorations of process. In 1925, she married Phillips Kloss, a poet and composer who was completely dedicated to her art — at times putting her creative needs before his own. On their honeymoon, the newlyweds traveled east, camping as they went along. Reaching New Mexico, they stayed for two week in Taos Canyon on the way up to the Sangre des Cristo Mountains, cementing a portable sixty-pound printing press to a rock near their campsite. With winters in Berkeley to care for their aging families, they returned for the better part of the year in Taos, until they became full-time residents in 1945. For a period the Klosses lived in southern Colorado, where she introduced its mountains and mining towns into her work. According to the print dealer Keith Sheridan, Kloss began using the name Gene to avoid any bias against female artists. Whether Alice Kloss would have garnered fewer honors is a moot point, but Gene was well regarded by her peers, who elected her to Associate Membership in the prestigious National Academy of Design in 1950 and Full Membership in 1972—the first American woman printmaker ever to be so honored. In addition, she was considered one of the leading artists of New Mexico modernism, exhibiting alongside Ernest Blumenschein, Georgia O’Keefe, and John Sloan in Paris in 1938. In the thirties, Kloss was employed by the WPA, making a series of prints of Mesa Verde that were distributed to schools. She became caught up with a fascination with the communal culture of Southwestern indigenous people: “The individual Indian is lost out of the tribe but meaningful in the group that integrates itself with nature that has evolved laws for society, divided labor for existence, developed the arts and crafts — all unified in a religion that is significantly expressed in the ceremonies.” Invited to Taos Pueblo, she wouldn’t take photographs or sketch in keeping with the strict regulations. Working from memory, she created scenes in which individual elements became part of dramatic composition, a sensibility seen throughout her work. Adapting technique to subject matter, she employed etching, drypoint, aquatint, mezzotint, roulette, softground, and a variety of experimental approaches, often combining several techniques on the same plate. In total, Kloss etched more than 625 copper plates, comprising editions ranging from five to 250 prints. Pulling every print herself, she manually cranked the wheel of her geared Sturges press, until she purchased a motorized one in her 70s. Education: University of California at Berkeley; California School of Fine Arts, San Francisco; California School of Arts and Crafts, Oakland. Exhibited: Whitney Museum of American Art; Sweden; World’s Fair, New York; Golden Gate Exposition; United States Exhibition; Paris; Italy; Prairie Print Maker; Carnegie Institute; Museum of New Mexico, Santa Fe; San Francisco Museum of Art; San Diego Fine Art Society; Denver Art Museum; Three Centuries of Art in the United States; Paris, France; National Academy of Design; Embassy Building, New Delhi, India; Society of American Graphic Artists; The West by Member of the National Academy of Design; Phoenix Art Museum. Works held: Smithsonian Institution; New York Public Library; San Francisco Museum of Art; Honolulu Museum of Arts; Dallas Museum of Fine Art; Museum of New Mexico, Santa Fe; Oklahoma University; Texas Technical Institute; Prairie Print Makers, “100 Prints of the Year”; Art Institute of Chicago; Library of Congress; Metropolitan Museum of Art; Carnegie Institute; Corcoran Gallery of Art; Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts; Museum of Tokyo, Japan. Further Reading: Printmaking in New Mexico, 1880-1990. Clinton Adams. University of New Mexico Press, Albuquerque, 1991.; Gene Kloss, Fifty Years in Taos. Bill and Gail Bishop. Southwest Art, March, 1975.; The Legendary Artists of Taos. Mary Carroll Nelson. Watson-Guptill Publications, New York, 1980. ©David Cook Galleries, LLC
  • Creator:
    Gene Kloss (1903-1996, American)
  • Creation Year:
    1952
  • Dimensions:
    Height: 21.25 in (53.98 cm)Width: 26 in (66.04 cm)Depth: 1 in (2.54 cm)
  • Medium:
  • Movement & Style:
  • Period:
  • Condition:
  • Gallery Location:
    Denver, CO
  • Reference Number:
    Seller: 264221stDibs: LU27310473482

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