The Black Dress (Woman) is a lithograph with monotype and drawing from 2001 by American artist John Gruenwald. It is pencil signed and titled and inscribed lithograph / monotype / drawing. The Black Dress (Woman) is one of four unique impressions printed by the artist on Rives BFK paper. The image measures 24-1/4 x 17-1/2 inches.
Using a combination of lithography, monotype and drawing, John Gruenwald creates a mysterious image of a woman standing at an interior door. Wearing a long black dress her raised arm implies that she has opened the door into a room that is defined by gestural strokes suggesting a framed work of art hanging over a fireplace with rattan furniture filling the space. There are three other images with the lithograph base but the monotype and drawing create different scenes.
John Gruenwald, painter, printmaker, teacher, and master printer, was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1951. He received in BFA in printmaking in 1974 from the Layton School of Art and Design in Milwaukee. After graduation, he and his former instructor, Roland Poska, became partners in a collaborative print shop, Fishy Whale Press, printing stone lithographs for other artists. In 1975 he operated the Windmill Press in Taos, New Mexico for a year before returning to Milwaukee where he owned Cream City Graphics until 1985. He remained in Wisconsin for a decade working as a printmaker and master printer.
Gruenwald moved to San Francisco, California in 1995. For three years, he partnered with Terry Chastain in Tinhorn Gallery, a storefront print gallery and studio in Hayes Valley, until he opened Gruenwald Press on Mission Street in 2003. In 2017, Gruenwald packed up his studio and moved to Humboldt County where he set up the Gruenwald Press in 2018 in McKinleyville.
John Gruenwald is a member of the California Society of Printmakers and has been a master printer for their Artist in Residence Program. Gruenwald’s work has been featured in numerous solo and two-person exhibitions. About his artistic career, he wrote: “In my 40-year plus career of collaborating and editioning prints, I have worked with over 300 artists. I have taught printmaking at Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design, published print portfolios, owned a print gallery, and given workshops.”