J o l a n - G r o s s - B e t t e l h e i m- -- 1 9 0 0 - 1 9 7 2
Jolan Gross Bettelheim was Born in Hungary. She studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Budapest, Kunstgewerbeschule in Vienna, and the Academic fur bildende Kunst in Berlin. In 1925 she married a Hungarian/American and moved to Cleveland, Ohio where she studied at the Cleveland Institute of Art School.
She submitted prints
to the annual contest sponsored by the Cleveland Museum of Art, from 1928-1937,
wining several prizes. During the 1930s, she exhibited at the Art Institute
of Chicago and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, and later at the
National Academy of Design, the Library of Congress and many other museums
birthplace, which had politically changed hands between Czechoslovakia and
Hungary, was Hungarian again, but she arrived just one month before an attempted
overthrow of the Soviet system there. Her pro-Communist views made her an
outsider in her own country, and she apparently lived the rest of her life
disheartened and in semi-seclusion. There is no evidence that she ever made
prints again. She died in Budapest in 1972.
Bettelheim created a total of only about 40 prints in her lifetime. Most of her prints were not editioned but printed as proofs only. No catalog raisonne yet exists on her work.
"Imperialism" represents a culmination of Bettelheim's modernist explorations and stands as one of American printmaking's most powerful anti-war statements. The formal perspective of the composition–an assembly line of war weapons and regimented figures–pulls the
viewer into the image . The skull-like gas masks look out to the viewer, hollow-eyed in warning. The repetition of the shapes and abstraction of the figures emphasize the inhumanity of the war machine and makes poignant the paradox of man's vunerability in the face of his own creation. Although this lithograph was created during WWII, the image feels absolutely contemporary, as relevant today as it was when first produced.
Untitled (Bridge)- c.1940, Lithograph.
Small unpublished edition. Signed in pencil.
Image size 13 13/16 x 9 7/8 inches (351 x 251 mm); sheet size 16 1/4 x 11 3/4 inches (413 x 298 mm).
A fine, rich impression, on cream wove paper, with margins (1 to 1 1/4 inches), in excellent condition.