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Hallie Ford Museum of Art Features Prints by John Franklin Koenig

A small selection of prints by John Franklin Koenig, an American painter and printmaker who lived and worked in Paris during most of his career, is on display Jan. 9 through March 7 at the Hallie Ford Museum of Art at Willamette University.

Organized by museum Director John Olbrantz, John Franklin Koenig: Works on Paper features a range of prints created during a 50-year period, from the 1950s to the 1990s. The prints were given by the artist to the museum in 2007 and 2008 and by Koenig's nice and nephew in 2009.

The exhibition also includes an 11-minute film by Galen Garwood that serves as a quiet reflection on Koenig's view of art and life, based on written correspondence between French art critic Michel Ragon and the artist.

Koenig (1924-2008) was born and raised in Seattle. He served in the Army in Europe during World War II and moved to Paris in 1948, where he established a career as a painter, gallery owner, printmaker and co-founder of the art journal Cimaise.

A self-taught painter and printmaker, Koenig's mature style reflected many influences: collage, with its layered surfaces, ragged edges and torn shapes; J.M.W. Turner, whose use of negative space had a profound impact on Koenig; jazz, with its emphasis on spontaneity and improvisation; and Mark Tobey and Morris Graves, whose debt to Asian art and philosophy reflected Koenig's own interest in Japanese art and culture.

Inspired by the Bauhaus spirit in which artists were trained in many disciplines, Koenig worked in various media throughout his career.   

John Franklin Koenig: Works on Paper has been supported in part by grants from the City of Salem's Transient Occupancy Tax funds and the Oregon Arts Commission.

Location: Hallie Ford Museum of Art, 700 State St. (corner of State and Cottage streets), downtown Salem

Hours: Tuesdays-Saturdays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sundays, 1-5 p.m.; closed Mondays

Admission: $3 for adults; $2 for seniors and students; free for children younger than 12 and for everyone on Tuesdays

Information: 503-370-6855, www.willamette.edu/museum_of_art

01-25-2010