1136 North Speer Boulevard

Denver, Colorado 80204

phone: +1 303.298.8432

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John Haeseler

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.

 

 

 

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