James Munce

James Munce 

I think that I am primarily a storyteller. My function as a visual artist is to create a two-dimensional formal structure that will best contain the story being told. I am always trying to create a sense of space that has somehow been altered or transformed by an event.

James Munce received his BFA in printmaking at the Minneapolis School of Art in 1966. He completed his MFA in printmaking at Indiana University in 1971. After teaching in Hawaii for a year, Munce moved to Manhattan and began his long-term career as a professor in printmaking at Kansas State University.

During the last 30 years of the twentieth century, Munce devoted his professional life to creating prints. Primarily his subjects have been taken from Christian literature – the time-honored subject of Michelangelo, Dürer and da Vinci. Unlike these earlier masters, Munce’s work exhibits a sense of humanity with a dose of humor in the spirit of the twentieth century.

Munce is a serious artist who studies his subjects thoroughly and then combines this knowledge with his fertile imagination to create a work of art that transcends time. He treats each story as if it was simply literature, lessens its religious constraints, embellishes it with his own creativity and removes it from time by juxtaposing elements and details of the past with those of the present.

The artist’s technical virtuosity is readily apparent in all his prints. Each finished piece is preceded by numerous sketches and studies and sometimes finished drawings. Munce then painstakingly prepares the plates and prints his own work. His pen and ink drawings are masterpieces of draftsmanship. The final result is one common to all enduring art: it enables the viewer to be drawn into the scene and feel a connection to the artist’s mind and soul.

Reference: Julie Strecker

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