Pauline Jakobsberg- ART CART Oral Histories
Many of the prints of Pauline Jakobsberg are quiet , reflective and intimate giving substance to a sense of being with powerful undercurrents of connection, loss, renewal, tenderness , humor and pathos. The interplay of present action with past imagery, building layer upon layer gives shape to narratives that are universally compelling and suggest a passage of time. Her research into surviving family members led her to travel to many parts of the world returning with journal sketches, stories and memorabilia. From this she developed a body of work referred to as her Legacy prints, the largest single body of work in her print oeuvre. By availing herself of the full richness and variety of print media, these works perform a twofold function; first to bear witness to the subjects and their stories by memorializing them and also to express simultaneously the bitter fact that our human impulse to know and to remember the past can never be completely fulfilled. In several prints Pauline uses photographic techniques combining silkscreen and etching for the desired effect. As a result many become so technically complex they cannot be editioned; instead, they are unique impressions. Over the years her techniques have ranged from engraving, etching, silkscreen,collagrahs, monotypes and combinations of two or more of these printmaking methods. In her bold colorful garment prints, she utilizes collagraph, collage and assemblage to evoke the layered process of memory allowing her to produce playful as well as reflective prints. This work bears the mark of another part of her heritage. Having grown up in New York with a dress salesman father, she experienced the clutter of a tiny apartment surrounded by musty corners and boxes of sample rejects. A frayed blouse or wedding gown defines a journey through marriage while faded folds of an out of date prom dress reminisce of grown children leaving behind an empty nest. In another corner a carefully folded handkerchief sits in the pocket of a suit jacket and when removed reveals creased lines like a map of a route already walked.
The artist’s early years in New York were in Commercial Art which prepared her for assisting in illustrating at Roswell Cancer Institute in Buffalo, NY. An interest in Fine Arts developed during classes at Buffalo University. Upon moving to the DC area, she attended the University of Maryland and was introduced to the world of Printmaking where she received her Fine Art Degrees She then Directed and co-founded a private art school for children and adults and in 1979 founded a printmaking studio “The Graphic Workshop”, now a non-toxic working environment for new techniques in printmaking and visiting artists. In 1985 Pauline co-founded the Washington Printmakers Gallery, a printmaker’s cooperative devoted to hand-pulled prints which still exists and is located in Georgetown. She has shown internationally as well as in the US with several of her works in private collections. Pauline’s first solo exhibition “Passages” reviewed in the Washington Post 1987, was a series of strong black and white monotypes with a somewhat feminist statement depicting fluid lined full bodied female nudes all wearing masks with beaks of mythic proportions. In 1989 Venable Neslage Gallery in DC handled her painterly ghost images until their closing in 1995. In 1998 she was invited for a solo exhibition of her Legacy Work at the Franz Kafka Gallery in Prague and in 2000 at the Terezinstadt Museum, Czech Republic. In 2002 the Legacy Work was shown in a Cultural Identity exhibition titled “Memory and History “at the Godwin-Ternbach Museum in New York. A recent publication was in the 2011 Washington Print Club Quarterly “About the Cover Artist”. Pauline’s most recent solo exhibition “Birthrights Left Behind” was in 2015 at the Houston Holocaust Museum, Texas. The artist’s resides in Potomac, MD. Her studio is Artist and Makers 11810 Parklawn Drive, Studio 6, Rockville, MD www.paulinejakobsberg.com.
Keywords: Childhood, history, inspiration, influences, mediums, opportunities, galleries, family, Washington Heights, NYC, Texas, Buffalo, NY, socioeconomic status, parents, children, husband, Judaism, education, World War II, Bolivia, commercial art, culture, sister, sketching, medical illustration, occupation, camping, silkscreen, Baltimore, Maryland, Potomac, teaching, printmaking, collagraph, etching, Mitchell Jamieson, Life or Theater, Maurice Prendergast, dress salesman, father, legacy, Black and White, Washington Printmakers Gallery, monotypes, development, wedding gown, audience.
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