As an artist I’m interested in history, memory, the loss of memory, and the lack of understanding as a natural part of identity. I have been thinking of how history impacts our lives and affects who we are, how we live, how we understand the world we live in, and how all this affects the work we create.
I was born in Prague, Czechoslovakia, and escaped in 1969 after the Russian invasion of the country in 1968. I began my career as a printmaker, fusing drawing and photo techniques. I have studied painting and printmaking at the University of Toledo (Bachelor of Arts, 1972) and the Rochester Institute of Technology (Master of Fine Arts, 1974). At the Rochester Institute of Technology, I met Ann Kalmbach, a fellow artist who became my life and work partner. Ann and I collaborate on artists’ books as “KAKE”, and to date we have produced a dozen books. After graduate school, with no job prospects and in need of a printmaking facility, Ann and I joined two other women and founded Women’s Studio Workshop (WSW), an artists’ workspace specializing in artists’ books. WSW has published 150 titles since 1979. As the artistic director at WSW I am intimately involved with assisting artists in producing their artists’ books.
In addition to creating artists’ books, my work explores other media, including drawing, prints, photography, and installation. I have had the pleasure of developing my work at a number of artists’ colonies across the country. I have been honored to receive a number of awards including individual artist’s grants from the New York Foundation for the Arts and The Pollock-Krasner Foundation.
Statement courtesy of Tatana Kellner
Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY, USA (1972-1974)
University of Toledo, Toledo, OH, USA (1968-1972)
Grant, The Pollock-Krasner Foundation, Inc., New York, NY, USA
Catalog Project Grant, New York Foundation for the Arts, New York, NY, USA (1997)
Photographers Fellowship Grant, New York Foundation for the Arts, New York, NY, USA (1996 & 1992)