There are stories scattered throughout human history of rare individuals of remarkable talent, energy, and promise whose lives are unexpectedly and tragically cut short. Artist Frank Mechau was one of these. His artistic career spanned only twenty years1926 to 1946but in the course of those years he produced paintings, murals, and drawings of exceptional potency and poignancy. His work shows influences of the masters he studiedEuropean, Japanese, and Chinesefrom whom he developed his own aesthetic of line, design, and composition that, in a singular way, speaks to broader artistic truths.
In Frank Mechau: Artist of Colorado, Cile Bach offers a thoughtful and engaging account of Mechau’s career. Using excerpts from letters, notes, and journals, she infuses the book with Mechau’s presence, giving readers not only a sense of the strength of his artistic talent but a glimpse of the extraordinary self-educated man behind the workhis determination, his sharp mind, his playful wit, his gentleness, and his love of life, his family, and the Western Slope of Colorado that was his home.
Cile Bach’s account remains the only substantial documentation to date of Mechau’s careerwhich makes this second edition of Frank Mechau: Artist of Colorado a prized and important book. Its publication marks the 35th anniversary of the book’s first appearance in 1981, when it accompanied a Frank Mechau exhibition at the Aspen Center for the Visual Arts. Happily, the new edition will make its debut at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center’s Legacy Series Exhibit featuring Frank Mechau, scheduled from March 4 to May 15, 2016.
About the Author
Cile M. Bach (1910-1991) was the longtime director of the Denver Art Museum’s publication department, responsible for producing its quarterly journal and many diverse publications. She won distinction as a researcher and writer, authoring or collaborating on books on art and history, among them Art, a Mirror of Man; Literary Culture and American Imperialism; Images of History; and a range of works on American Indian culture.