American Printmakers On-line Catalogue Raisonné Project
Home || About APOCRP || Contact Us || Search the Site

Table of Contents
To navigate
The American Printmakers On-line Catalogue Raisonné Project, use the links below.
Useful Links
Copyright ©
2006-2007
by Jeffrey Coven


Excerpts from reviews of the exhibiton

"Ernest Fiene's lithographs have had special success in the exhibition at the Downtown Galleries, and little red stars are thick under the favorite prints. The 'Hudson River Boat,' at last account, seemed to be leading all the others. It happens to be my favorite too."
From the New York Sun, April 7, 1928


"The series of twenty lithographs on view, with their many variations of tone and method indeed vindicate the claim that Mr. Fiene has progressed to the discovery of a technique well suited to his temperamental and aesthetic needs. The sharp definitions and decisive blacks of 'Hudson River Boat' and 'Snug Harbor'; the soft, blurred tones of the 'Washington Square subjects; the delicate grays of 'Along the Hudson' and the interesting effects achieved in the nudes are vindications of the artist's theory that lithography, when rightly handled, may be a direct and autographic method of expression."
from Art News, April 7, 1928

Essay by William Murrell and checklist from
The Downtown Gallery Catalogue
for the exhibition
"Ernest Fiene New Lithographs"
March 26 to April 15, 1928

The Prints of Ernest Fiene:
A Catalogue Raisonné --
in progress

After a partial eclipse, the lithograph is again emerging and making a strong bid for collectors' favor. Toward the middle of the nineteenth century, before the time of the halftone reproduction, the lithographic process was debased and commercialized because it was more suitable for purposes of reproduction than engraving or etching. This led to a misconception of the artistic qualities of the lithograph, as opposed to those of etching. It was considered a less personal expressive medium, whereas it is actually more direct and autographic.

Since Daumier and Gavarni, many artists have been attracted by the qualities and possibilities of the lithograph. The remarkable variety and contrast obtainable in the lithograph, its elasticity, its autographic quality which brings to the spectator the exact statement of the artist, constitute its basic fascination.

Ernest Fiene, well known by his canvases and watercolors, here presents his first exhibition of lithographs. For several years he has shown prints with his other work, prints that have met with high and well deserved praise. In this new series, a wide variety of treatment is to be observed, showing that the artist has broken through the limitations of the medium, and has developed a personal, free and sure use of a unique process.

These prints are much more than results of experiments. They represent thorugh their wide range the accomplishment of the artist's desires, in each variation of method. I may safely assert that no one has seen such quality in lithographs, as is so successfully evident in -- for example --"Canadian Village," Hudson River Boat" and "Nude," here reproduced.

Mr. Fiene does not claim to have invented a new medium. But from an initial search for greater expressive qualities in lithography, he has progressed to the discovery of achieving a freshness and richness eminently well suited to his temperamental and aesthetic needs. With the intelligent cooperation of his printer, Mr. George C. Miller, he has triumphed over many difficulties, and now for the first time exhibits his new series.

W.M.

Checklist of the Exhibition

Title
Edition of
Price
50
$20
30
$15
30
$15
30
$20
30
$15
30
$15
30
$15
40
$15
30
$15
50
$15
15
$15
30
$15
30
$15
30
$15
20
$15
10
$20
30
$15
30
$20
White Roses (in color)
30*
$25
30
$15
*According to the numbering on the prints themselves, the edition of White Roses (in color) of 1928 was 50. See entry for more detail.

For more information about The Downtown Gallery and Fiene's connection to it, click here.


Lithographs mentioned in excerpts from contemporaneous reviews (see left column) and/or illustrated in the catalog

The Cover of the catalog


Lithographs illustrated
in the catalog and/or mentioned in the reviews excerpted in the left column

Thumbs/tn_HudsonRiverboat.gif
Hudson River Boat


Thumbs/tn_Nude28Moma.jpg
Nude


Thumbs/tn_Canvill.jpg
Canadian Village



Nude Seated

Return to the top of this page
This page last revised: Tuesday, October 16, 2007