Monday, April 16, 2007

Drawing Attention to the Fort Worth Circle

Jeff Prince at the FWWeekly highlighted the print work of Fort Worth Circle artists and how it is getting attention from major print collectors on the East Coast.

In the mid-1940s, a small group of Fort Worth artists who liked to drink wine, smoke cigarettes, and discuss techniques and theories began gravitating toward an abstract style that was rare among Texas printmakers. Veronica Helfensteller, Kelly Fearing, Dickson Reeder, Flora Blanc, Bill Bomar, Cynthia Brants, and Bror Utter were among the most daring. All were painters of talent but became collectively enthralled with printmaking and challenged one another to see how imaginative and vivid they could get in their work. They trained at some of the world’s best art schools — in New York, Chicago, and abroad — but settled in Fort Worth and stretched the traditional regionalist style to new dimensions.

Eventually, they would come to be known as the Fort Worth Circle, and their original etchings are considered by many to be the apex of Fort Worth’s glory days of printmaking. “It takes the right person to appreciate them because they’re not big and colorful,” said local antiques dealer Carter Bowden. “But people who know Fort Worth art like the prints as well as the paintings.”

Some of the prints show interesting views of old Fort Worth buildings like the Sinclair Building and the T&P Terminal, but there are also some really fantastic images of animals and dream sequences, like the print above from Kelly Fearing. What the hell is that? I don't know but I love it! I guess I now have something else to hunt for at estate sales.

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