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Claire Van Vliet
Claire Van Vliet was born in Ottawa, Canada August 9, 1933. She received her B.A. at San Diego State University in 1952, and her M.F.A. at the Claremont Graduate School in 1954. She apprenticed to John Anderson Pickering Press in Philadelphia from 1958-1960. Her representations of monolithic crests and imposing landscapes had been recorded in prints and paintings since the early 1960s. Van Vliet made some of her first landscapes of sky and earth in black and white lithography while living in the Horbylunde Valley near Silkeborg, Denmark. In the 1960s and 1970s she continued to explore this theme while working at UM Grafik Copenhagen and SKHS lithographic workshop in Oslo. Figurative work also appears at this time - such as black and white lithographs illustrating Franz Kafka's writings which Van Vliet published at her own Janus Press. Her expansive, complex land masses and cloud forms are inspired by her travels, riding trains across the United States and her native Canada. Rock formations began to emerge as a theme in Van Vliet's work around the early 1980s. Her "Toward Twenty-Nine Views of Wheeler Mountain" was published by Tandem Press in Madison, Wisconsin in 1989 reveals a whaleback formation of rocks. This theme was continued in the late 1990s when a fellowship allowed the artist to travel to the southwestern United States, New Zealand, Australia, and the northern coast of Ireland, gaining inspiration for a series of large scape lithographs and intaglio prints based on the formations she discovered. A sense of expansive space is pervasive in Van Vliet's work.
In addition to her prints, Van Vliet has produced numerous books through her press, and is an accomplished designer and illustrator. She has exhibited extensively in both solo and group exhibitions, over the United States and Canada, Europe, and Asia. Van Vliet currently lives and works in northern Vermont.