A Timberline Book
—Caleb Ives Bach, artist and writer
"The richness of [Mechau's] experience and its influence on his artwork is wonderfully displayed in the narrative and layout of the book. Although he is best known for his portrayals of the American West, he also chronicled the Caribbean region and Panama for the War Department during World War II. His paintings, letters and photographs of this time are included in the book, and it is stunning how this deeply affecting time in his life comes through in his paintings."
—Grand Junction Daily Sentinel
There are stories scattered throughout human history of rare individuals of remarkable talent, energy, and promise whose lives are unexpectedly and tragically cut short. Artist Frank Mechau was one of these. His artistic career spanned only twenty years—1926 to 1946—but in the course of those years he produced paintings, murals, and drawings of exceptional potency and poignancy. His work shows influences of the masters he studied—European, Japanese, and Chinese—from whom he developed his own aesthetic of line, design, and composition that, in a singular way, speaks to broader artistic truths.
In Frank Mechau: Artist of Colorado, Cile Bach offers a thoughtful and engaging account of Mechau’s career. Using excerpts from letters, notes, and journals, she infuses the book with Mechau’s presence, giving readers not only a sense of the strength of his artistic talent but a glimpse of the extraordinary self-educated man behind the work—his determination, his sharp mind, his playful wit, his gentleness, and his love of life, his family, and the Western Slope of Colorado that was his home.
Cile Bach’s account remains the only substantial documentation to date of Mechau’s career—which makes this second edition of Frank Mechau: Artist of Colorado a prized and important book. Its publication marks the thrity fifth anniversary of the book’s first appearance in 1981, when it accompanied a Frank Mechau exhibition at the Aspen Center for the Visual Arts. Happily, the new edition will make its debut at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center’s Legacy Series Exhibit featuring Frank Mechau, scheduled from March 4 to May 15, 2016.