In the stark contrast of black and white, the colorful cultures, landscapes and lives of the Southwest come brilliantly to life through the prints of Gene Kloss (1903–1996). Born Alice Geneva Glazier in Oakland, California, Kloss visited Taos, New Mexico, in 1925 while on her honeymoon with writer and composer Phillips Kloss. Traveling by car, they took along her 60-lb printing press, which she cemented to a rock in their camp yard, an act that demonstrated her life-long commitment to printmaking. Returning to Taos each summer, she and Phillips settled there in 1945. Through her exceptional artistic skills, Kloss emerged as one of the few women to break gender boundaries in the largerly male-dominated Taos school.
Today, she is remembered and honored as one of the most important American printmakers. In Light and Shadow: Gene Kloss features rarely-seen paintings along with more than 50 prints that exemplify her etching techniques of applying acid directly to the press plates with fine Japanese brushes and pencils. This technique resulted in compelling scenes that alternate between richly dark and softly luminous, evoking a sense of wonder that brings each small scene resoundingly to light and life.
Gene Kloss, Morning Worship, 1939. Etching, drypoint and aquatint. 14” x 10.875.” Edition of 30. Collection of Gilbert Waldman.
This exhibition is organized by Phoenix Art Museum, courtesy of the Collection of Gilbert Waldman.