Ernst and Fritz –
Fritz and Ernst were best friends for 52 years. Their fathers were also best friends in Zurich, Switzerland, where both Fritz and Ernst were born and raised. When Fritz immigrated to the USA in 1971, Ernst was there to meet and host him, and they were virtually inseparable ever since. Ernst passed away in April 2023, and now, they are being brought back together with this pairing of their etchings for the Blake Memorial Library fundraiser. Much more about the artists below.
Raffle tickets are $5.00 for 1 or $10.00 for 3. Come by the library to see the framed etchings and buy your tickets.
You can also send a check to Blake Memorial Library, PO Box D, East Corinth, VT 05040.
All proceeds from the raffle go to support the library. The raffle will be held on Monday, December 18th.
Ernst Aebi (1938-2023)
An exceptionally talented artist, Ernst Aebi never received any formal training. He was entirely self-taught and trained over a lifetime of artistry. No medium defied the relationship between his eye and hands. Eye, not eyes. He was born blind in one eye, which made his skill of working with dimensions and perspective even more amazing.
In the late 50’s and early 60’s, as a young man, he traveled overland from his native Switzerland to Japan, earning money along the way with street painting and design work. He ended this adventure in Paris, where he joined the ranks of street artists for several years on the Montmarte before immigrating to the US, where he spent the rest of his life.
Sculpting wood, casting steel from wax molds, etchings, water color, oil, pen and ink, murals, architectural design. From street scenes, to harbor scenes, to character studies, to the phantasmagorical, and finally, simply horses fluidly galloping across canvases, he had an incredibly prolific life of output and mediums. And, subject material.
But, as the art world and what it took to hustle one’s work was never his cup of tea, he met with moderate success with magazine and newspaper illustrations, in galleries and art shows across the US and Europe. In his early forties, he began his ascent to true financial success with real estate in lower Manhattan, at which point he was able to start doing his art for the love of it rather than to put food on the table.
This etching is from 1970, from what we can call Ernst’s etching phase. Titled “So What,” it exudes a very French feeling of the times. The viewer can stand back, look and wonder exactly that. So what?
The world began without man, and it will end without him.
Friedrich Gross (1946-)
Friedrich Gross, a Swiss-born artist, got his start as a house painter in Zurich before immigrating to the United States and moving into the NYC art world. He painted controversial murals on city buildings, flipped SOHO studios, and showcased his art at local galleries. Over the years, Friedrich evolved and expanded his art from painting houses to painting furniture, panels, and canvases. He also began drawing, sculpting, and etching. In the late 19080’s, Friedrich left the city and moved to the green mountains of Vermont where he built a farm and raised a flock of animals.
Today, Friedrich’s art is honest and centers around his domestic life. His whimsical paintings are a combination of folklore, myth and fantasy and evoke a deep sympathetic response that has universal appeal. While this pictures illuminate the tales and fables that inspired them, each painting stands alone as an intriguing and magical vision.
I prefer a lousy stairway to heaven than a perfect elevator to hell.
Ernst and Fritz
Friedrich, commonly referred to as Fritz, and Ernst were best friends for 52 years. Their fathers were also best friends in Zurich, Switzerland, where both Fritz and Ernst were born and raised. When Fritz immigrated to the USA in 1971, Ernst was there to meet and host him, and they were virtually inseparable ever since. Ernst passed away in April 2023, and now, they are being brought back together with this pairing of their etchings for the Blake Memorial Library Holiday Raffle.