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Jörg Schmeisser,Here and Now, Echoes of the Past

Jörg Schmeisser, Enter the Forbidden City

Enter the Forbidden City by Jorg Schmiesser

Jörg Schmeisser was born in Stolp, Pomerania (now Poland) in 1942.  After graduating from the Academy of Fine Arts Hamburg in 1967 he took up graduate studies at the Kyoto City University of Arts in Japan. He is an internationally renowned Master printmaker and draftsman.  Until his death in Canberra in 2012, his long career took him around the world through fellowships, artist in residents and, Professor and lecturer positions.  He became head of Printmaking at the Canberra School of Art (now the ANU School of Art) for 20 years from 1978.  An insatiable traveler and artist, much of Jörg Schmeisser’s work resembles a single plane visual diary of places, cultures and objects he observed in the Middle East, Europe, South East Asia, the USA, Antarctica, Japan and Australia.  His profound skill in rendering his observations in astonishing detail were often superimposed with gestural lines, abstract motifs and script reflecting his personal response to the places and landscapes he experienced.  Mastering the multi-plate colour etching technique, Jörg created intricate layers of complexity to describe the natural and city landscapes he travelled though.

Enter the Forbidden City, a swirling landscape of mountains, symbols and interpretations of ancient architectural stone creatures that weave subtly through a composition around a single human figure.  Dark mountains contrast against a brilliant sky and foreground looming with sculptural animals creating depth and drama.  Hundreds of coloured lines and markings form movement while static exotic symbols and delicate fields of soft colour provide a conflicting sense of peace and steadiness.

Jörg Schmeisser held over 200 exhibitions, both in Australia and overseas.  His work is represented in many of the world’s most notable collections including the British Museum, Victoria and Albert Museum, Bibliotheque Nationale de France, Museum of Modern Art in New York, Staatliche Sammlungen Dresden, Germany, Museum fur Ostasiatische Kunst in Cologne,Germany and the National Gallery of America.  In Australia, his work is held in all of the major state galleries including the National Gallery of Australia.


Jörg Schmeisser CV, Beaver Gallery, 2012

Treasures of a Master Printmaker, Sydney Morning Herald 2012

A Printmaker’s Journey: The Graphic Art of Jörg Schmeisser, 1997.  Exhibition, Georgetown University, Washington DC