CYNTHIA BRANTS (1924-2006) was a well-known Texas modernist with a lifelong compulsion to experiment radically with forms, subjects and materials. She was a prominent member of The Fort Worth Circle, a group of artists who were active in the mid-20th century. Her work, which fluctuates between realism to impressionism, includes paintings, watercolors, sculptures, rubbings, drawings and prints. As an artist, she employed a variety of techniques in her printmaking – engraving, soft-ground etching, woodcut, monotone, serigraph, collagraph, aquatint, photogravure – and achieved stunning effects with each.
CYNTHIA BRANTS”S FIGURATIVE WORK: THE GEOMETRIC VS. THE NATURAL
From a young age, Cynthia Brants was a fluent draftsman. Her mentor at Sarah Lawrence College, German émigré art professor Kurt Roesch, tried to break her reliance on drawing skill to encourage her to use all the elements of art to make a work. She learned these lessons well, but throughout her career found herself in a battler to compose with geometry or freehand – or to combine the two in “an attempt to organize what is unorganized.” “’Nature has form-art is form’ – and it is the canvas which is the form,” she once wrote in her journal.
The works in this exhibition are an intriguing selection of figurative works spanning Brants’s career. The earliest is a self-portrait dating from her college days (1944), and the latest is a print done in the last full year of her life (2005). In some, her hand moves freely (Untitled,n.d.); in others, the approach is mostly geometric ( On the Gridiron, 1999); in most, the approach is mixed. Brants, it seems, was fluent in both languages.
The CYNTHIA BRANTS TRUST is charged with disseminating, through sales, the works of art from the estate of Cynthia Brants. Proceeds from those sales are distributed to non-profit organizations, as designed by Cynthia Brants. The Trust is able to accomplish that goal by promoting the legacy of Cynthia Brants through exhibitions, presentations, and sales events.