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A Year of Preparation

In the beginning of 2017 I had the wish to create more simple works.

I made drawings of branches in the snow and cut woodblock prints.





I was content with these prints and wanted to continue this way.

I dreamed of a Japanese flower bowl with flowers. I bought the bowl, arranged flowers and twigs and made ink paintings.



I cut two of them into woodblock prints.






At the same time I studied the technique of Chinese painting and painted copies after works by Bada Shanren, a painter of the Qing period whom I very admire.





But from these works, no wave built up. I decided that I had to work in a broader way. I wanted to draw more, which in the past I had left out during long periods of cutting and printing. I restarted a sketch book.







And I took photographs with my analog 6x6 camera. I wanted to create more images than I usually did when working on prints.













I engaged in the works of other artists.




Covers shown with kind permission of publishers, except the book on Fairfield Porter which is a painted copy by me.
Bibliography please see below.


The process of making art undergoes cycles similar to the seasons. A theme, an image or a series sprouts, buds, grows up to be expressed, blooms, leads to a rich harvest of great intensity, after that to more experienced images, looses energy and dies. This is followed by an inevitable pause, so that something new can accumulate. I realized that I was deep inside Winter. To support that even more, besides agenda-less drawing, I started recutting an older sold out print in bigger size. I cut many weeks.


I felt that I would soon be ready for new landscapes, but that I needed wilder landscapes then the ones in my surrounding. In Autumn I went to the US West coast.

I worked in California.







I got back into pencil drawing.

The Japanese Tea Garden at Green Gulch near San Francisco


Then I went to Seattle and met my friend Joe Kaftan. At the instigation of my gallerist Beth Cullom, we had already done three tours through Washington State with me making sketches for woodblock prints. The Columbia River had always been on Beth's list, but we had never made it there. In June, Beth had died. We went to the Columbia River and I made drawings.







In California I had visited many museums with my friend Bill. Sometimes we didn't have much time and ran through just staying at the most inviting works. I realized that I was particularly attracted to works on the small edge between realism and abstraction, like the works of the artists of the "Bay Area Figurative Painting". I took that with me as an inspiration.



After coming back to Berlin, I started cutting plates.


A first rubbing from the Green Gulch Tea Garden:



With thanks to Bill Harrison and Joe Kaftan.

Berlin, January 2018


Hans Emmenegger. Jetzt will ich einmal schroff meinen Weg gehen. Authors: Patricia Bieder, Monika Brunner, Fanni Fetzer, Christian Klemm, Dominik Müller, Heinz Stahlhut and Peter Suter. Exhibition catalogue Kunstmuseum Luzern, 2014, Köln: Snoeck Verlag, 2014, 280 pages, d/e

Emil Dill (1861-1938). Georg M. Hilbi, Chronos Verlag Zürich, 2014, 248 pages, d/e

Fairfield Porter. Authors: John Wilmerding and Karen Wilkin, with poem by J. D. McClatchy, Rizzoli New York, 2016, 240 pages

Marsden Hartley's Maine. Authors: Randall R. Griffey and Donna Cassidy with art work by Richard Deming. Exhibition catalogue Metropolitan Museum of Art, Yale University Press, 2017, 184 pages

Elmer Bischoff. The Ethics of Paint. Susan Landauer und Bill Berkson, Oakland Museum of California und University of California Press, 2001, 212 pages



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