SPOKANE, Wash. – The Jundt Art Museum at Gonzaga University will feature prints by Czech printmaker Jiří Anderle, recently donated by the Baruch Foundation. This exhibit in the Jundt Galleries opens Jan. 20 and runs through April 3 .
In 2006 Anderle received a gold medal from the president of the Czech Republic for his contributions to Czechoslovakian culture and his career as an artist that has spanned four decades. Anderle studied art at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague, played the drums with bands on weekends, and worked in the Black Theatre of Jiří Srnec. While touring with the theatre group he was able to visit galleries, a rare opportunity for someone living behind the Iron Curtain. Anderle was able to see exhibits of paintings by Pablo Picasso, Max Ernst, Francis Bacon, and others whose work made a lasting impression. Anderle’s largely figurative images, taken from photographs and paintings by these and other great masters, tackle subjects of war, oppression, and isolation with a draughtsman’s skill and a unique vision. Sometimes lovely, sometimes grotesque in his portrayals of the human condition, Anderle’s voice is singular in its passion and political sentiment. His work “Cruel Game for a Man” is considered to be a masterpiece of modern printmaking.
Jiří Anderle’s relationship with Anne and Jacques Baruch began in the 1960s. The Baruchs founded their gallery in Chicago to exhibit unseen work from artists who were struggling under political repression in Eastern Europe. It provided a free world venue for works of many Eastern European artists. The Jacques Baruch Gallery presented the first comprehensive exhibition in the United States of Anderle’s prints. Thanks to the generosity of the Baruch Foundation, Anne and Jacques’ legacy of support of the arts continues with this exhibition. In recognition of Anne Baruch’s dedication and commitment, Gonzaga awarded her an honorary Doctor of Letters degree in 1987. Anne Baruch remained a loyal and beloved friend of the University until her death in 2007.
A free public reception will be held from 6-7:15 p.m., Thursday, March 8. A free public lecture, “Illusion and Reality,” given by Kristin L. Spangenberg, curator of prints at the Cincinnati Art Museum, will begin at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, March 8 in the Jundt Lecture Hall. Spangenberg is the author of “Illusion and Reality, Prints by Jiří Anderle,” which is considered the definitive book on Anderle to date.
Continuing in the Arcade Gallery through March 10 will be, “Sahlin Foundation Collection,” a selection of prints highlighting the work of Chuck Close, Dennis Cunningham, Manuel Izquierdo, Ibrahim Miranda, Roger Shimomura, Robert Stackhouse, Neil Welliver, and John Wilson.
The museum’s exhibitions are free and open to the public from 10 a.m.- 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, and noon- 4 p.m. on Saturdays; the museum is closed Sundays and school holidays. For more information, please contact Karen Kaiser, assistant curator for education, at (509) 313-6613 or via e-mail.