1136 North Speer Boulevard
Denver, Colorado 80204
phone: +1 303.298.8432
Looking back on Haeseler’s art career, one cannot help but be astonished by how many different mediums he addressed, including painting, drawing, photography, collage, installation and even fibers. While still a student at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, where he earned a fine-arts degree in 1977, Haeseler became a protégé of Lynn Fife, who taught there and introduced him to textile art. Haeseler pushed the folksy craft medium into contemporary art by using unlikely materials in his weaving and crocheting. Instead of yarn, Haeseler used trash-can liners, audiotape, gauze and anything else he could think of. A complete radical concept at the time, Haeseler spearheaded a movement that even in current times goes against the grain of the medium standard.
While experimenting with textiles, Haeseler was also composing abstract ink drawings, using graph and other pre-printed papers. This eventually led to experimentation with Xerox reproductions as a method for creating art, which was yet another first in use of media. While Xerox art is commonplace today, he was the first in the region to incorporate the method in his time. Capturing a pop-art feel reminiscent of Warhol, references in his pieces include movie posters, magazine ads, product design, and comic strips.
During the mid-80’s, Haeseler managed the News Gallery on East 13th. His love of people and desire to promote his art brought him to the forefront of the gallery, and many would visit just to talk with Haeseler about art. Joshua Hassel, who co-owned Hassel-Haeseler gallery during the early 90’s, said “He (Haeseler) was just fascinated by life. He was the way I discovered Xerography. I was encouraged when I saw John’s work.”
He used various methods for visual effects in his portrait works, experimenting with spattering spray paint and applying painted gauze, resulting in a style that was much sought after across the nation. Starting with photo booth strips and snapshots, Haeseler altered the images with a photocopier and added chalk, pastel, and pencil, eventually attaching the piece to a stretched canvas as a mixed media painting. His unique style earned commissions from Seattle, Sun Valley and Chicago, but Haeseler also would produce portraits on a whim, with an unwitting subject seeing their portrait and surprisingly buying it on the spot. Haeseler’s unique style even rewarded him with several pieces purchased and displayed at the Denver Art museum.
1993 was a hard year in the Denver art scene, and Haeseler was left with no venue for his art and a large amount of debt. His last solo show appeared at Mackey Gallery in 1995, and the following years involved various health problems. Diagnosed in 2002 with type-2 diabetes, Haeseler’s health deteriorated, and at 55 he passed December 22, 2006, in a nursing facility in the north suburbs of Denver.
Haeseler spent twenty years as a studio artist, and produced a plethora of works, many in private collections, and with multiple parts. The current collection on display at z|art department is an overview of his work, and will delight both the new viewer and bring fond memories to those who knew Haeseler in his prime.
John Haeseler Revisited is small but well worth a look
By Michael Paglia Tuesday, Jun 28 2011
When an artist does work that is ahead of his or her time, it usually means the work is under-appreciated or even unnoticed. To some extent, that's what happened to John Haeseler, who, beginning in the 1970s, created pieces that responded to both dada and pop art while addressing social issues — in particular, his own gay identity. Read More...
Best Salute to a Forgotten Art Star - 2012
John Haeseler Revisited
The art scene we have today in Denver is rooted in the late '70s and early '80s. That's when the first co-ops were founded and a generation of galleries began coming on line, with a crowd of artists emerging to fill those places; the first First Friday celebrations even date to that era. Many of the people intrinsic to establishing the scene are still around, but a few who died prematurely have been all but forgotten. Read More...
Absolutely Fabulous –
Denver is a little bit duller without the life and art of John Haeseler.
By Michael Paglia Thursday, Jan 11 2007
There's been a lot of talk about the burgeoning art scene in Denver, with dozens of venues featuring the work of hundreds of artists. The current culture boom is best exemplified by the strip of galleries that line Santa Fe Drive, an area that has been almost universally hailed as the city's premier art district. For old-timers like me, this is kind of funny, because in 1990 there was an art district near 17th and Wazee streets that blew Santa Fe away. Read More...
John Haeseler, 55, artist and co-owner of gallery
Mary Voelz Chandler, Rocky Mountain News
Published December 29, 2006 at midnight
John T. Haeseler had a way of charming people with his humor as an artist and as co-owner of a gallery that thrived when lower downtown was a hub for visual arts.]
But in his artwork, he was provocative and pushed boundaries, ahead of the curve in terms of his use of Xerography, mail art and techniques familiar to Pop art. Read More...
Haeseler Revisted Review
2012 Best Of Westword
Absolutely Fabulous Review