"Sigmund Abeles: The Artist and His Prints" opens

Sigmund Abeles: The Artist and His Prints: 1954-1999,” featuring 70 prints from more than 200 works the artist has given to the Bates College Museum of Art, will be on view Aug. 13 through Sept. 19. A catalog representing the first complete listing of Abeles’ prints will be available at the exhibition. Abeles will speak about his life and work at the Bates College Museum of Art Sept. 17 at 7:30 p.m. in room 104 of the Olin Arts Center.

The public is invited to attend Abeles’ talk and view the exhibit free of charge. Regular museum hours are Tuesday-Saturday 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sunday 1 5 p.m. Guided tours for schools and other groups are welcome. Call 207-786 6158 for more information.

“Abeles is a magnificent artist whose prints are highly regarded for their extremely refined figure drawing and emotionally charged narratives and portraits,” said Genetta McLean, director of the Bates College Museum of Art and curator of the exhibition. “The exhibition celebrates Abeles’ establishment of the Bates College Museum of Art as a repository of his print archives. This is an extraordinary gift, which has provided our community with an important legacy of American printmaking.”

Abeles’ achievements in printmaking have been formally acknowledged as early as 1965 when he received an Arts and Letters Award and grant from the American Academy and National Institute of Arts and Letters for “etchings that pierce the comforting screen and reveal man in all his naked helplessness.” Abeles taught at the University of New Hampshire from 1970 to 1987 and now serves as professor emeritus of art. He also teaches painting at the Art Students League in New York City.

Abeles’ work is in many distinguished museums and collections, including the Whitney Museum of American Art, Boston Public Library, the Museum of Modern Art and the Victoria and Albert Museum. He also has been featured in numerous exhibitions, including a retrospective at the Boston Public Library in 1993. His work continues to receive honorary distinctions, including election to the National Academy of Design in 1990.

Visitors to the Bates exhibition will see Abeles’ finest prints, including a portfolio of etchings and drypoints called “Toward the End,” the artist’s poignant farewell to dying loved ones. His award-winning color lithograph “Day Lily” will be shown, as well as the major print “The Entrance,” a full-length figure standing in a doorway, which received the Leo Meissner Prize for intaglio in 1983.

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