Originally from South Pasadena, artist Fanny Retsek attended Loyola Marymount College for a degree in European history before relocating to the Bay Area in her late twenties. Her interest in art grew out of a study of art history, and after moving to the Bay, Retsek earned an MFA at SJSU with a focus on printmaking. Retsek considers her main influence to be nature, particularly the intersection of human-created habitat and the wild. Working in prints, Retsek creates stunning and nuanced representations of the natural world. Often rendered in flat, earthy colors, Retsek’s prints draw in the viewer with their layered, subtle textures. Her work often starts with an experience or reading something about nature—the idea gets stuck in her head, and Retsek attempts to compose permanent records of her impressions. Her most recent series, Coyote Sightings, documents coyote movements in and out of that line between the human world and the wild. Retsek has shown her art in countless shows around the world and currently has one of her series on display at the SJICA. As for the future, Retsek plans to continue exploring themes of equilibrium and man versus nature through the printmaking medium.
“I always liked looking at prints, the aesthetic of the work, the line quality you can get from printmaking, plus the way the flatness color is used really attracted me, so I wondered, ‘How do you make that?’ After one printmaking class, I was definitely in love. I also was always interested in chemistry; like, I would take chemistry classes in college for fun. So that marriage of chemistry and the way things were happening on a chemical and molecular level in making a print, as well as the drawing process and the final print aesthetic…it all just kind of clicked for me.”