The Secret Rooms of Katja Oxman

July 29 - November 5

For Katja Oxman, her processes are long and no detail is overlooked. Her influences range widely, from Rembrandt to the childhood possessions that traveled with her as she journeyed to the United States from Germany in 1952.

Since the 1970s, Oxman has been wrestling with the idea of perfection and building on that concept in her work. And yet, the assembled still lifes that occupy her compositions are hardly textbook, instead speaking a poetic language that is unique to each print. Those who encounter her work will view from above, playing the role of bird’s eye observer to investigate the picture as a whole but capture every detail.

As a printmaker, Oxman’s tools naturally include such rigidly unforgiving materials as copper plates, acid baths, and etching needles, and yet these tools aid her in achieving remarkably detailed and intricate representations of the items that have been with her for decades.

Precision, perfection, and meticulous arrangements contrast with the personal objects rendered in warm and calming colors that invite introspection and participation in the tales Oxman tells. Each object plays one small role in the decades-long narrative of the life of Katja Oxman told through each of her prints.

This exhibition is comprised of selections from the major acquisition by FWMoA of prints and printmaking ephemera spanning the career of Katja Oxman.  With this archive, Oxman’s prolific career as an artist will be preserved and shared for generations to come through research, exhibitions, and education.

Katja Oxman, b. 1942, was born in Munich, Germany and immigrated to the United States at age 9. She attended the venerable Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art from 1962-1965, where she studied printmaking and painting. She continued her studies at the Academy of Munich, Germany and Royal College of Art in London, England.

This exhibition is curated by Josef Zimmerman, Curator of Contemporary Art

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