JÖRG SCHMEISSER, 1942 – 2012
Naturalist and autobiographical printmaker and draughtsman Jörg Schmeisser was born in Germany in 1942 and studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Hamburg.
His highly detailed and expressionistic etchings and drawings were the artist’s investigations into vast regions across the world. Throughout his prolific career, Schmeisser created deep reflections on visits to numerous places including Japan, Antarctica, Ladakh, Jerusalem, Venice, Princeton and Arnhem Land.
“The distant mountains and the small objects are right here with me, on the plate. I am touching the cliff of the distant rock-face with the etching needle. I follow the confusing lines of the Mangrove roots with a pencil. The tip of the lead and the needle’s point are my fingertips. I draw and get my bearing. I get closer connected to where I happen to be. Or is my surrounding closing in on me?”
Jörg Schmeisser had more than 200 solo exhibitions worldwide. 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 as well as the National Gallery of Australia.
“Time seems to slow down as I work. The moment is extended, the flow of time measured, departure delayed. While I observe, the other senses are alert: I taste the air and the dust, I feel the rough stones, hear the cicadas, smell the smoke. And somehow this will find its way into the picture. The sketched lines of first thoughts remain on the surface, together with the defined marks of the final image. On the way back to base: baggage precariously close to the plates, the copper is bruised by the movement of the traveling car, cold weather cracks the ground, the heat will let the block-out stick to my hands. In the end it is both the travel and I, who create the marks, which will make the print of the journey.”
– Jörg Schmeisser 2010