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American Abstract Master

March 18 - April 29, 2000

WERNER DREWES Curves Shapes Color woodcut 1943 11 x 18" (295x457mm)

In the 1930s, WERNER DREWES became an artist of American interest initially through his printmaking. In his woodcuts was traced the influence of German Expressionism ... bold, forceful, immediate. His Bauhaus training drew out his intuitive powers of structure, abstraction and space which defines his basic aesthetic vocabulary. His art captures rhythms, architecture and the simple drama of abstract elements. Vigorous color vies with black and white in watercolors, etchings, paintings,collages and celoprints and, most importantly, the woodcuts.

We present an overview spanning more than fifty years of work in all media. DREWES's imagery ranges from geometric abstraction to abstracted subjects inspired by his love of world travel - especially throughout the United States, by his respect for nature and by his interest in all peoples he encountered. In his woodcuts we include Elevated, New York 1931, Black Curve on Yellow 1938, Descent into the Mojave 1962 and Twin Formation in Gray 1982 to illustrate that range. The etchings, the paintings and the watercolors cover the same fifty years. We conclude with his brilliant and intriguing collages of the 1970s and '80s.

Explore the work of the American Abstract Artists, the group recognized as presenting the unique language of the century in the United States. WERNER DREWES was a founding member and driving force within this movement.

1899 Born, Canig, Germany
1919/21 Studied architecture in Berlin and Stuttgart
1921/22 Studied with Johannes Itten and Paul Klee at the Bauhaus, Weimar
1923/27 Traveled in Italy and Spain, studying Old Masters. Continued around the world as portrait painter and printmaker.
1927/28 Returned to the Bauhaus under Wassily Kandinsky and Lyonel Feininger
1930 Emigrated to the United States
1937 Was founding member of American Abstract Artists in New York
1937/40 Instructor at Columbia University, New York
1941/42 Technical Supervisor, Graphics Division, Federal Arts Project, New York
1946/65 Professor of Design and Director of First Year Program, School of Fine Arts, Washington University, St. Louis
1961 One man show, Cleveland Museum of Art
1962 One man show, Achenbach Foundation for the Graphic Arts, Museum of the Legion of Honor, San Francisco
1966 One man show, Everhart Museum, Scranton
1968 One man show, Trenton State College
1969 One man show, National Collection of Fine Arts, Washington, DC
1974/45 One man traveling State Department show to Turkey and Latin America
1978 One man traveling show to nine cities in West Germany
1979 One man show, Washington University, St. Louis
1982 One man shows in Bonn, West Germany and Washington, DC
1983 One man show, Associated American Artists, New York
1984 Retrospective, National Museum of American Arts, Washington, DC
1985 Died, Reston, Virginia
1986, '90, '92, '94, 
'97, 2000, '03
One man shows at Tobey C. Moss Gallery, Los Angeles 

Martina R. Norelli; WERNER DREWES, Sixty Five Years of Printmaking; National Museum of American Art; 1984
Franz Geierhaas & Brigitte Hellgoth The Creative Act; International Print Society; 1984
Ingrid Rose WERNER DREWES A Catalogue Raisonne of his Prints; Verlag Kunstgalerie Esslingen;
Munich-New York; 1984