About David F. Driesbach

A bespectacled top-hatted man holding a wine glass while pedaling a bicycle at night under a crescent moon. A chandelier mysteriously suspended from the sky-an open window with lace curtains billowing white against brick walls. Someone playing a violin. Greek columns, neckties, billboards with enigmatic images, light bulbs and candles-these and many other strange objects and happenings crowd my space and continue a compulsion to create etchings and lithographs.

I have always admired the prints and drawings of Picasso, Chagall, and Ernst. In artists like Albrect Durer and the Northern Renaissance painters like Van Eyck, Bouts, and Bosch I am fascinated by their microscoptic detail. I am compelled by the brutish naivety of much Medieval Art-their architecture, illuminated manuscripts and iconography. Being primarily a printmaker, technique has always been my obsession.

When I was at the University of Iowa (1948-51) working toward my MFA in painting I took courses in intaglio every semester. This was under the tutelage of Mauricio Lasansky. I soon became aware of a deep and abiding interest in story telling as well as strong composition. The works of Goya and Rembrandt, Picasso, and Chagall took on great importance for me. Many years later, in 1969, while on a sabbatical, I had the opportunity to study with Stanley William Hayter in Paris. That experience proved to be truly liberating. His atelier was just developing Color Viscosity Printing, a means of printing multiple colors at one pass thru the press. His philosophy of teaching and approach to working the metal plate as well as his use of color opened new ways of advancing my own personal imagery.

I've always had a yen for humor and often I think of my prints in terms of theatre--a stage setting, the main characters, the music accompanying the action, the symbolism, mood, and yes, sometimes even the words appearing-after all Fra Angelico did that. Witness his "Annunciation" in the monastery at Florence where he painted the message backward going from the mouth of the angel to the ear of the Virgin-- so she could read it.

I've been to Europe five times. All of those trips and experiences were undoubtedly of utmost importance to my development as an artist. In the past I have taught courses in Art History as well as Drawing and Printmaking. These together with innumerable visits to museums and Exhibitions have helped to mold my career.

It has always been a "fun thing" to approach a blank sheet of copper with only the vaguest idea of what I'll be doing with it-to see another adventure happen. Sometimes I spend seven or eight months on a piece. Then again I may work only a few days to complete it. My prints have become part of more than 500 museum and public collections. They have been reproduced in numerous text books and have received more than 200 prizes in competitions.