Gyorgy Kepes: Karl Eugene Fortess Audio Archive

Michael Rosenberg

Grad Typography II
Archive: Publication from Interview

Karl Eugene Fortess (1907–1993) was a painter and printmaker who headed the School of Visual Arts printmaking department from 1956 to 1973. Beginning in the early 1960s, he undertook a major artist interview project, creating 269 “audio-portraits” (sound recording interviews) of prominent American artists. Fortess believed that art students needed and wanted to learn about the inner lives of artists in addition to their techniques and craftsmanship. His interviews focused on the artists’ career development, their sources of influence and inspiration, their self-understandings of purpose, and their reflections on teaching and learning. The full list of interviews includes many prominent American artists of the twentieth century, among them Romare Bearden, Ruth Gikow, Louise Bourgeois, Helen Frankenthaler, Philip Guston, Alex Katz, Jacob Lawrence, Adolph Gottlieb, Barbara Swan, and Gyorgy Kepes. All original Fortess recordings are stored at Boston University’s Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center. Fortess gave the School of Visual Arts cassette copies of his interviews, which were recently digitized for student access.

This publication contains the transcription of the Gyorgy Kepes interview, paired with Toward Civic Art, written by Gyorgy Kepes himself.

7x 10 inches

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