Franz Kempf: Thinking on Paper 1955 – 2002

'Franz Kempf: Thinking on Paper 1955 – 2002' comments on the art practice of the artist Franz Kempf who, through his prints, drawings and paintings investigates the ‘ethical, humanistic, and religious dimensions of art.’
Franz Kempf: Thinking on Paper 1955 – 2002
Franz Kempf: Thinking on Paper 1955 – 2002 Franz Kempf: Thinking on Paper 1955 – 2002 comments on the art practice of the artist Franz Kempf who, through his prints, drawings and paintings investigates the ‘ethical, humanistic, and religious dimensions of art.’ The book begins with a foreword by David Doolan, who was a colleague of Kempf’s at the South Australian School of Art, which shapes the three essays that form the literary element of this book. Each essay is widely different, bringing unique perspectives of Franz Kempf and his work to the reader. Grishin looks as the religious element of Kempf’s work, from his Jewish background, while Smith looks at the cultural elements of Kempf work and the manner in which art can bridge cultural differences. The longest of the three essays, is by its lengthy nature the most in-depth. In this essay Dutkiewics looks at Kempf’s influence and influences, as well as introducing a more biographical and historical perspective, situating Kempf’s art practice amongst Modernist artistic theory. Beginning his artistic education in 1942, Franz Kempf was producing art during the early Australian Modernist period. A dynamic time of change in Australian art, Kempf’s art is described by Dutkiewicz, as ‘wildely acclaimed and ground breaking and fundamentally significant in the development of [printmaking] in Australia’. This influence can be viewed most notably in his role in establishing the diploma of printmaking in 1971. It is fitting that a book is written on the art of Franz Kempf when he himself contributed to the art history of printmaking, in writing first book, in 1979 that looked at contemporary Australian printmaking. Kempf’s art moves across various mediums and subjects, from Chinese ink drawing in which he renders the subject, the figure of a nude for example, in striking bold blue-black ink lines, to vibrant detailed lithographs in which the influences of the early German expressionists can be clearly seen. His subject matter varies, from imagery drawn from the Second World War to whimsical Romanticist landscapes depicting the Coorong. The wide range of Kempf’s artistic expression is illustrated in the full colour gallery included in this book. Also included at the end of this book is an extensive chronology of Kempf’s life, and list of major exhibitions he has exhibited in, as well as a list of the collections throughout Australia that contain his work. This book is easy to read and because of the varying perspective of the different authors, it provides a diverse introduction to the life and works of Franz Kempf. A selected bibliography at the back provides further reading for anyone interested in learning more about this influential Australian printmaker. Sasha Grishin is an art historian, art critic and curator. Adam Dutkiewics is an art critic and writer and holds a PhD in art History and Theory. Robert Smith is an art historian, critic, actor, playwright, artist and curator. Franz Kempf: Thinking on Paper 1955 – 2002 is published by Wakefield press. It was first published to coincide with the Franz Kempf: Thinking on Paper 1955 – 2002 exhibition held at the Flinders University Art Museum (South Australia) from 13 September – 312 October 2002. Franz Kempf: Thinking on Paper 1955 – 2002 Author: Sasha Grishin, Adam Dutkiewicz, Robert Smith Foreword: David Dolan Genre: Art; Printmaking Press Publisher: Wakefield ISBN: 1 86254 592 8

Jade Wildy

Monday 14 September, 2009

About the author

Jade Wildy is an art theorist and historian based in Adelaide, Australia and she is currently studying for a Masters of Art History at the University of Adelaide. Jade holds a Bachelor of Visual Arts, with a major in ceramics from the University of South Australia. Jade aspires to become an art writer and researcher to pursue her love of visual art and art history. Her current research interests centre around contemporary art with a particular focus on Environmental Art, but she also has a love for psychology, biology and contemporary culture through art, music and dance. Jade enjoys working in her established home studio, as well as fiction and arts writing, and have written numerous reviews for ArtsHub Australia on both visual and performing arts in addition to several book reviews.