Emil Ganso


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Printmaker and painter. Born in Halberstadt, Germany, Ganso was working as a dishwasher on a transatlantic steamer when he jumped ship in Hoboken, New Jersey, in 1912. After working at odd jobs in several locations, in 1914 he began taking classes at the National Academy of Design. He had little formal training as an artist and did not work full time at his craft until 1925. Between 1922 and 1934 he made three lengthy visits to Europe. Some of his early work was indebted to the example of his friend Jules Pascin, but concurrently he also produced bold expressionist relief cuts. From 1926 on, he spent every summer at Woodstock. Between 1935 and 1937 he worked for a federal art project. He taught for a year at Lawrence College (now University) in Appleton, Wisconsin, before accepting a position in 1940 at the State University of Iowa (now University of Iowa) in Iowa City. He died of a heart attack at his home there the following spring. Ganso's subjects included studio scenes, mostly still lifes and figural studies, as well as landscapes and views of rural settings. His style varied from one of dramatic force, achieved with strong contrasts and distorted forms, to a somber realism. Better known as a printmaker than painter, he worked in many graphic media, including wood engraving, lithography, aquatint, and etching.

Subjects: Art.

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