Art Werger - Genesis of a Printmaker
As a child, Art Werger remembers being taken by his mother to art museums and other places in New York City. During these trips his mother would make observations about the people and crowds that surrounded them, raising questions about the lives they lived - what was going on in their private worlds.
The effects of these musings can still be seen in his etchings and mezzotints today, many years later. Pedestrians passing on a crowded street, each lost in their own stories, captured in transit.
Werger first became interested in printmaking when he was an undergraduate at the Rhode Island School of Design. "I've always been interested in working realistically and representationally," he explains, "but the challenge was to do something different, to reinvigorate the style." This led to what he calls his "doves-eye" view, the view from on high, taken from an angle that always creates a subtle tension with the "window" of the frame.
Nocturnal cityscapes are another type of imagery he is drawn to. "I was attracted to the luminescent glow of night lighting in a city...the incandescence of skyscrapers. I wanted to parallel that 'backlit' feeling, to bring the light forward so that the lightness of the paper would read through the darkness of the ink." While many people many associate Werger with these moody and evocative black and white mezzotints, There is another completely different type of imagery where he excels. Color etching is medium where his unique methods have allowed for the play of such things as sunlight and reflections on from the underwater world of swimmers in backyard pools.
He enjoys the freedom to use more color, to let the viewer see more. Yet elements of mystery remain-especially in his portrayals of rain swept days with their wet sidewalks, looming buildings, and pedestrians carrying umbrellas; or in the long, faintly sinister shadows cast by figures of his sunlit neighborhoods. "Daylight opens up the palette more," he says. It does indeed. The clouds lift. Sunshine sparkles on the pool and illuminates rocks by the sea. It flows off the paper toward us, a warm ripple of light, startling us from our sleepwalker dreams.
Art Werger - Biography
Birthdate: December 4, 1955
Birthplace: Ridgewood, New Jersey
Master of Fine Arts, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Graphics, 1982.
Bachelor of Fine Arts, Rhode Island School of Design, Printmaking, 1978.
Professor of Printmaking, Ohio University, Athens Ohio
Chairman, Fine Arts Division., Professor of Art (Tenured), Wesleyan College, Macon, Georgia.
SELECTED PUBLIC COLLECTIONS
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA
Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University
Boston Public Library, Boston MA
Brooklyn Museum, New York, NY
Butler Museum of American Art, Youngstown, OH
The Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington DC
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX
Arkansas State Univeristy, Permanent Collection
Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA
Milwaukee Museum of Art, Milwaukee, WI
Trenton Museum, Trenton, NJ
Chazen Museum of Art, Madison, WI
Mint Museum, Charlotte, NC
Museum of Arts and Sciences, Macon, GA
Albany Museum of Art, Albany, GA
Nelson Atkins Gallery, Kansas City, MO
GRANTS AND HONORS
2003 - The Honorary Council Award of Excellence and The Cynthia Haveson Veloric Award.
77th Annual International Competition, The Print Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
2002 - First Prize Winner, National Small Works. Washington Printmakers Gallery,
Washington DC , 330 entries, 26 selected entrees.
1993 - Artist Initiated Grant from the State of Georgia,.
1992 - Southern Arts Federation/ National Endowment for the Arts Regional Fellowship.
1986 - 1999 Wesleyan College Summer Research Grant, Wesleyan College, Macon, Georgia.
1990 - 1992 Southern Arts Federation/ National Endowment for the Arts Visual Arts Touring Program Grant for
"Art Werger, The Graphic Narrative".
1988 - Southern Arts Federation/ National Endowment for the Arts Regional Fellowship.
Artist Initiated Grant, Georgia Council for the Arts, Macon Museum of Arts and Sciences, Macon, Georgia.
1986 - High Museum of Art, Atlanta, Georgia. Commission to create a lithograph ,.
1985 - RJR/SECCA Southeastern Artist Fellowship Grant, Winston-Salem, North Carolina,.
2003 Triennial-Colour in Graphic Art, Torun 2003, Torun Poland.
1998 International Exhibition for Contemporary Mezzotints, Davidson Galleries, Seattle, WA
1996 Davidson Galleries, Seattle, Washington .
1995 Davidson Galleries, Seattle, Washington
1994 Columbia College, Columbia, South Carolina.
Stone and Press Gallery, New Orleans, Louisiana.
Halsey Gallery, College of Charleston, Charleston, South Carolina.
1993 "Casual Observations," Madison/Morgan Cultural Center, Madison, Georgia.
"Casual Observations," The John Marlor Arts Center, Milledgeville, Georgia.
The Fanny Garver Gallery, Madison, Wisconsin.
"Overview," Carriage Works Gallery, Georgia Council for the Arts, Atlanta, Georgia.
1992 Chattahoochee Valley Art Museum, La Grange, Georgia.
"Art Werger: The Graphic Narrative," Jacksonville State University, Jacksonville, Florida.
"Temporary Positions," East Gallery, Porter Auditorium, Wesleyan College, Macon, Georgia.
1991 "Art Werger, Overview," Gertrude Herbert Institute of Art, Augusta, Georgia.
"Overview," North Georgia College, Dahlonega, Georgia.
1990 "The Graphic Narrative," Shelton State Community College, Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
Peterson Hall Gallery, South Georgia College, Douglas, Georgia.
1989 "Kiacz and Werger-Printmaking two techniques," North Dakota State University, Fargo, North Dakota.
"Encounters Ten," Huntsville Museum of Art, Huntsville, Alabama.
1988 "In Print," Georgia College, Blackbridge Hall, Milledgeville, Georgia;
"In Print," Macon Museum of Arts and Sciences, Macon, Georgia;
"Graphic Works," Discovery Gallery, Albany Museum of Art, Albany, Georgia;
Creative Arts Guild, Dalton, Georgia
1988 "Vantage Points," Georgia Tech, Atlanta, Georgia.