Gene Kloss

Gene Kloss was born Alice Geneva Glasier in Oakland California in 1903. While growing up she was fortunate to experience the natural beauty of California. She next found a stimulating atmosphere at Berkeley, California where she took a seminar in etching. Her instructor was a perfectionist draftsman and was amazed at the first print she pulled from his huge hundred-year-old press. Enthusiastically he predicted she would be an etcher. Kloss graduated with honors in art from the University of California at Berkeley in 1924. Next, she took a years term of study at the San Francisco School of Fine Arts. In 1924 she married Phillips Kloss, a writer and poet, and changed her name to Gene Kloss for phonetic reasons. Together they set out to explore the Southwest with a small etching press in their car. Eventually dual residence was established in Taos and Berkeley. They gradually acquired forty acres of mesa land and built an adobe home and studio where they settled for life. Kloss found sketchable scenes everywhere. The main objective to her work was always recording her impressions of things she considered beautiful and important. The mediums she primarily worked in were oil, watercolor and copperplate etchings. Etchings were her most prominent artistic achievement. Kloss developed a technique in etching which she called "painting," applying acid directly on the plate with fine Japanese brushes or pencils. This developed a quality for which her work was known: subtle, painted tones, grades of dark, bright halos of white that seem impossible to achieve in her chosen medium. She has been called "one of the most sensitive and sympathetic interpreters of the Southwest." Gene Kloss was productive for over fifty years. Honors include placement of her work in permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum, Library of Congress, Carnegie Institute, Smithsonian Institute, and San Francisco Art Museum. In addition to being elected a member of the National Academy of Design, she received many national awards for her etchings. Source: Thomas Nygard Gallery
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