Open Mind (1948) is an exciting work by Terry Haass, a Czech artist (1923-2016) who emigrated to Paris from Czechoslovakia after the Nazis invaded in 1938. After the German invasion of France in 1940, Haass and her family fled Europe and settled in New York City. There she studied at the Art Students League with Will Barnett and Harry Sternberg and later became an associate of Stanley William Hayter at Atelier 17. She later managed the renowned workshop in New York City for a brief time in 1951.
Open Mind shows Haass pushing the possibilities of what printmaking and a copper plate might achieve. Carefully engraved lines establish the structure to this exciting work and gauffrage, or carving out of the plate with a tool called a scorper make the deeply embossed white elements. Haass goes further by soldering a length of wire to the plate and thereby creating another type of line and a sculptural depth to her rich, dimensional works. Terry Haass’s work is discussed in the new book on the The Women of Atelier 17: Modernist Printmaking in Midcentury New York by Christian Weyl.