Painting by Jorg Schmeisser of icebergs
Painting by Jorg Schmeisser
Born in Pomerania in 1942, Jörg studied at the Hamburg Fine Art Academy before taking a post-graduate position at the Fine Arts University of Kyoto, Japan where his work progressed dramatically. From 1978 until 1997 he was head of the Printmaking workshop of the Canberra School of Art, now part of the Australian National University. He then served as Professor at the Kyoto City University of Art where he once studied.

He began his extensive travels in 1965 with a trip through the Middle East. Over the next decades he developed a strong interest in archaeology while working in a number of digs. The faithfulness to form and detail that he developed while drawing for archaeological publications is still a hallmark of many of his recent works.

Residencies and fellowships have taken him to Jerusalem, Perth, Hobart, Hangzhou and Princeton University – and work projects to Ladakh, Angkor and Antarctica.

He has held more than 130 solo exhibitions world-wide and is represented in major private and public collections such as the Princeton University Graphic Arts Collection, the Museum of Modern Art, New York, Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris and the Kunsthalle, Hamburg.

He travelled to Antarctica with the Australian Antarctic Division's then-titled Humanities program in 1998.

Sadly, Jörg passed away in 2012. He was a pivotal figure in the Printmaking Community in the Canberra region and on the broader national and international stage. Source: ANU

Antarctic impression

"How do you go about drawing something, presenting something that you see for the first time and for which you have no frame of reference? How can the engraver back in London translate onto copper something for which there is no precedent in printmaking? The line work on the ice illustrations is very similar to the way the landscapes of the Pacific are drawn and etched in Cook's reports; the same graphic 'net' cast over the exotic lush landscape as over the ice mountains.

Not to do that was part of the brief to myself in these works: to find different ways of holding and presenting the ice; something that showed the otherness of this place, compared with my previous themes: landscapes, monuments, figures and shells. I think that I did get somewhere, following a lead that opened."