Frye Art Museum

photo by Jill Berarducci

Seattle, Washington



Heightened Realities: The Monotypes of Ruth Weisberg

April 21 - June 3, 2001


Ruth Weisberg is internationally recognized for monotypes, a medium that exists somewhere between painting, drawing, and printmaking. Dean of the School of Fine Arts University of Southern California, Weisberg has shown more than seventy solo and two-person exhibitions (see our earlier article Ruth Weisberg: Canto V: A Whirlwind of Lovers ) and has an additional 160 group shows to her credit.

The monotype process involves drawing or painting on a flat surface and then transferring the image by means of pressure onto a sheet of paper. Only one strong impression can be taken. Weisberg uses oil paint and printing ink, applying the media with rollers, rags, and her fingers. The impossibility of duplication thwarted widespread use of monotypes for many years. The experimental and personal nature of the monotype, however, has suited such discerning artists as William Blake, Edgar Degas, John Sloan, Milton Avery --· and Ruth Weisberg. (left: Separating the Waters, 1996, monotype, 19 3/4 x 27 3/4 inches)

The emphasis on the human figure in Weisberg's monotypes is rooted in classical and Renaissance practice. She transcends her ties with classical tradition by alluding to ephemeral aspects of human existence in subject matter of dreams, fears, relationships, art, history, and myth.

Weisberg's work is represented in many museum collections, including the Whitney Museum of American Art, The Smithsonian American Art Museum, and Institute Nazionale per la Grafica, Rome, Italy. She has received numerous awards, among them a National Endowment for Humanities Fellowship. Her honors include a Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa at the Hebrew Union College, 2001 and a College Art Association Distinguished Teaching of Art Award, 1999.


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This page was originally published in Resource Library Magazine. Please see Resource Library's Overview section for more information. rev. 5/23/11

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