ONCE IN awhile there are books that come across my desk which, although not appropriate for our “New Art Books” section of ART TIMES (in this case, both books are printed in German and not readily available from publishers), nevertheless deserve notice and mention – thank goodness for the invention of the ‘blog’. Both books are written and produced by my friend Heinrich J. Jarczyk, whom I first met in 1988 at an exhibition of his etchings at the German Consulate in New York City. The following year, Cornelia and I visited him and his wife, Christiana, at their home just outside Cologne (in Bergisch Gladbach) and, already impressed with his work and now getting to know the “story of his life”, I decided to profile him in ART TIMES, offering an in-depth look at Jarczyk and his work which appeared in our May 1989 Issue. If his “story” was a familiar one to many Europeans, it was new to me and, learning about a young aspiring artist being drafted into the army of the Reich, being wounded twice, constantly carrying with him his skizzenbuch (sketchbook) to capture images while “running from Patton”, having his sketchbook confiscated (never to be returned) while a prisoner of war in Belgium, and, after his release, finding after the war that his country was no place for an artist since no one had any money to buy art and even fewer had walls on which to hang such a luxury, he entered university to become a research scientist. Eventually finding a position with the Bayer Company, he began his travels at conferences around the world while retaining his old habit of always having a skizzenbuch near at hand, jotting down visual memories of people and places in pen, in pencil, in watercolor. Following my Profile of Jarczyk in ART TIMES, I’d written two books about Jarczyk — Heinrich J. Jarczyk: Toward a Vision of Wholeness (Laumann Verlag, 1992)and Heinrich J. Jarczyk: Etchings 1968-1998 (Heider Verlag, 1998 —both books published with text in English, German and French) — our relationship meanwhile growing deeper each year. We’ve visited back and forth many times over the years, even painting together in the Alps, sight-seeing both here and throughout Europe, and now, nearly twenty-five years since our first meeting, Jarczyk has published his books, Heinrich J. Jarczyk: Aus meinen Leben Erinnerungen (II) (“Memories from my Life”): Olgemalde (“Oils”) 1963-2007, 189 pp.; 8 1/8 x 10 ½; 95 Colored Illus.; List of Works; Exhibitions (2007) and Heinrich J. Jarczyk: Aus meinen Leben Erinnerungen (III) (“Memories from my Life”): (“Watercolors”) 1943-2011, 276 pp.; 8 1/8 x 10 ½; 404 Colored Illus.; List of Works; Exhibitions (2011). Combined, the books cover not only some sixty-eight years of Jarczyk’s life, but feature his paintings (oils and watercolors) from both his native Germany and from around the world – including to my great delight three watercolors contained in Book III (Nos. 378, 392 & 393) done while at our home in High Woods, New York and two others (Nos. 380 & 390) from along the Hudson River. Although Book II, Oils, is arranged by motif – stilllife, landscape, architecture, etc. – Book III gathers the work by country — e.g., Egypt, Australia, Bahamas, Belgium, China, etc., some 24 countries in total — containing some forty-five watercolors from the U.S.A., from East to West and from North to South. This “visual diary” offers the reader a sort of inside view of Jarczyk’s life-long interest in people and places — something I tried to capture in my book Heinrich J. Jarczyk: Toward a Vision of Wholeness which attempts to capture the scope of Jarczyk’s all-embracing vision of the world into which he was born. Thus, the book includes impressions from his days as a young man in the military service, through his work as a research scientist at the Bayer Company, and on through his sight-seeing days as a “free spirit” trying to improve both his skills as an artist as well as learning how to be a citizen of the world. Enhanced by his own words, Aus meinen Leben Erinnerungen (II) & (III) vastly augments and expands my “outsider” insights into Jarczyk’s “Vision of Wholeness”. As a matter of fact, Jarczyk’s Books II & III, featuring his Oils and Watercolors, was so titled to follow my earlier book on his etchings (thus, Book I) — the “trilogy” serving as a comprehensive overview of Jarczyk’s artistic oeuvre. It was Jarczyk’s masterful draftsmanship so evident in that exhibit of his etchings in NYC that drew me to both the man and his work and to see it now so manifest in his oils and watercolors is extremely gratifying — and, of course, it is due to his fine draftsmanship that these books serve so well as visual documentaries of the world. Browsing Jarczyk’s Books II & III are like leafing through books of carefully selected collections of elegantly crafted fine-art postcards from around the world. Further information about Heinrich J. Jarczyk and his work, especially his Profile and books by me, can be found by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org; information about or requests to purchase these latest books on his Oils and Watercolors should be referred to email@example.com.
Heinrich J. Jarczyk