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Elegance of Outline - Silhouettes by Hunt Diederich - Publications - Hirschl & Adler

E-catalogue to the gallery exhibition of the same name, September 13–October 15, 2021.

In 1920, Hunt Diederich recalled an early memory: “As a child of five I embarked upon my artistic career by cutting out silhouettes of animals with a pair of broken-pointed scissors....” What began as child’s play remained a constant in Diederich’s life, an essential element of his creative process in his years as a professional artist.

Diederich’s devotion to paper cutting continued throughout his career. The paper cutouts proved to be closely related to his wrought-iron works. Because the two-dimensional, silhouetted, design-oriented aesthetic was identical in both mediums, Diederich found he could experiment with forms in paper first, then easily transfer them to the more robust medium. This is not to imply the silhouettes were merely studies; they were indeed finished works. Both mediums conveyed the same fluidity and spontaneity, and thus were appreciated for the same reasons. The wrought-iron and silhouettes are simply two very different mediums with a shared aesthetic, making them inextricably entwined within Diederich’s oeuvre. 

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