Horses. Original color etching and aquatint, unknown year.
Gatja Helgart Rothe was a German-American artist, best known for her mezzotints (technically a drypoint method). Her biggest success was primarily based on prints and paintings, but she also created drafts. She combined technical mastery with inspired imagination. Early artworks, during academy days, were a series of small, highly detailed monotypes, etchings, and drawings, which she referred to as “body landscapes”, she explored her sexuality, representing nude bodies from different angles and perspectives. Later her mezzotints was focused on surreal landscapes, horses, graceful dancers, city and nature landscapes, as well as portraits. She perfected this technique, so those works became highly detailed and achieved transparencies and an extensive variety of tonalities. While living in New York City, Rothe became interesting in the graffiti on windows and doors of New York buildings. She sometimes made a deal with the owners to take the boards and replace them with new ones, so she can use them for her artworks. This print depicts her common theme of wild horses in motion. Rothe was able to create highlights, hues, and tones from the darkest to the lightest, so those contrasts and shadowplays made this composition magic, like from a dream.