Printmakers You Should Know

As fun as it is to talk ad infinitum about my own art, the art historian in me thinks that there should be an educational aspect to this blog. Besides, no one works in a vacuum, so I think it'd be fun to show you some of the artists who have influenced me.

Beginning today then, I'm starting a new feature called "Printmakers You Should Know." On the first Monday of every month, I'm going to introduce you to a new printmaker, give a little biographical information, and show you some examples of his or her work. I'll also include additional resources for those of you who want to learn more.

Ready for this new adventure? Great!

Today we're going to meet Hildegarde Haas (1926-2002). Here are some examples of her work:

Boulders of the Deep, 1960s, oil on masonite
Wooded Point, 1950, color woodcut
Rocky Shore, 1950, color woodcut
Originally from Frankfurt, Germany, Haas came to the United States as a child, and studied at the Arts Student League in New York. She eventually settled in California. Stylistically, Haas was most influenced by German and Russian modernism, and she has a wonderfully abstract approach that layers colors and shapes into rich compositions. Much of her work takes its subject matter from nature, but Haas was also synesthestic, and created many pieces inspired by music.

Haas trained as a painter, but she also taught herself to make woodcuts. I first discovered Haas when I was working at the Dallas Museum of Art, and featured this multi-colored woodcut of hers in an exhibition I curated:

This piece is called Fog, and was printed in 1950. I loved the line quality of the piece, and how its black lines in particular suggested the rough quality of wood, referencing both the bark of trees and the woodblock from which the image was carved. I also liked the color harmonies, and how Haas successfully played red and green off one another without feeling Christmas-y. The arrangement of the abstract trees also reminded me of a musical staff, further underscoring the harmonious, yet dynamic feel of the piece.

Fog as it was installed in my print exhibit at the DMA

Though Haas worked in woodcut, her printed work has most directly influenced my monotypes, particularly in my more abstract pieces.

Want to learn more? Check out these sites:

That's all for today. Thanks for stopping by!


  1. Hi Sara, we found 13/16 at the thrift store! Thanks for this post!

    1. What a wonderful find! I hope you enjoy the piece!

  2. Thanks so much for this wonderful treatment of my mother's art. I am now looking for an outlet for her early prints.

    1. Thank you so much for your nice comment! I really was taken with Fog the first time I saw it. I'd love to hear your perspectives on your mother's work.


Post a Comment

Questions? Comments? Speak your mind here.