Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Art and Etc. (Midwest)

Good Morning people. I'm organizing my desk today for a psuedo client meeting. I have so many things in my office that are waiting to find a home. A mini art quilt, three knitted cupcakes, stuff like that. Oh, and the big print that I bought at an estate sale (I posted about this before). We are somewhat limited on wall space in this house. Plus, my husband has this phobia about nailing into old walls. The permanence of putting a hole somewhere that might not be exactly the right spot. Me, I would nail away.

So, back to the print. I found out very little about the artist, Gabrielle Brill. What I learned is that she is from Germany, lives or lived most recently in Hollywood and her etchings often reflect embryonic life and visuals. I spoke with Jan, my step mother who used to run and maintain the UW Madison Union's Art Collection, and she said this type of thing sounds like the art done in the 70s, which is when this print was likely created. Hmm. I'm still undecided about it. It may join the other prints I have stashed in my art collection.

Finally, I am planning on being on press tomorrow. I received my Boxcar plate order and I have about a dozen card design options I can create, depending on how I cut the plate apart. The themes relate to the spring and my deadline is to have items ready for posting this weekend. If I get 3 designs printed I'll be happy. Plus, I have two related gocco cards ready. I finished those last night. Busy bee = me.


Janet Burroway said...

Hi, Queen Bee Amy--
I found your blog because, like you, I was looking for info about Gabrielle Brill. Like you I bought an etching of hers,1971, at a rummage sale (for $12 framed!) and am very taken with it. (I grew up in Arizona, too, and after 35 years in Florida have retired to Lake Geneva, Wisc about an hour from your stepmother in Madison.) Here's what I know: in 2002 Brill was, at the age of 89, still volunteering in a Hollywood soup kitchen. I've written the arts site that interviewed the staff, to ask if they know whether she's still alive (at 96). My etching has a certificate of authenticity saying she was born in Berlin, Educated at academies in Berlin and Vienna and at Jepson Art Institute (now defunct)and exhibited widely, mostly on the west coast. My etching was bought originally from Repertory Studios in Playa Del Mar, CA, but they either no longer exist or don't have a site. Most interesting is the statement "About My Work," which reads, "I make prints and drawings and compositions in many media of the Unborn growing, pushing into form and shape and of the Old melting reluctantly and with sadness into the ultimate resolution--and between the beginnings and the endings one reaches across..." "Cross Cut" is a cross section of ground with trees and stones on the surface and many layers of the unborn pushing upward, very possibly out of the bodies of the dead.
Did you sell your etching or decide to keep it? Have you learned any more?
Thanks, and all best, Janet

Marc said...

I also have a Gabrielle Brill piece. I inherited it from my step-grandmother. I wasn't too crazy about it at first, but it looks great where I hung it because it ties in a green couch that previously seemed mismatched in that room. I've grown to really like it.


I own two Brill paintings, and I've had them since 1981. A friend of mine gave them to me. He had come upon them, and not caring much for art, gave them to someone who adores it. I love them both. One is entitled 'The Moon is Down', and it is a beautiful piece in which she used earth tones. That one is my favorite. I think Brill is/was a brilliant artist! We are lucky to have her work!

Anonymous said...

My mother, Gabrielle Brill, had her 100th birthday in March 2013. She stopped making art about two years ago. Recently she moved to a "board and care" home near her son in Menlo Park, California. Before that, she lived for 64 years in the Laurel Canyon area of the Hollywood Hills.
She was born in Berlin Germany and studied art in Germany, Austria and the US. A Jew, she fled Germany in 1933 and arrived in the US in 1939 as a refugee. Her second husband, Klaus Brill, was an artist too. She did a lot of drawing, printmaking, and some sculpture.

Anonymous said...

I just happened upon this site in doing some mild research online for this artist. I too have a painting, but it is much different then all others I have seen. I found it in a dusty vintage shop in Bloomington, Indiana years ago.
The title is Tra-la-la. Has anyone seen or hear of this piece?

Unknown said...

@bwasow: Thanks so much for news of your mother! Like others, I came to own a piece of hers called "Aztec Turtle," and love it. It occupies pride of place in our living room, and gets lots of comments. I hate to be so forward as to ask, but given that I live in the Bay Area, would it ever be possible to visit with her just to chat briefly about her art and life?