Claus Hoie

#ClausHoie (1911-2007) was born in Stavanger, Norway and emigrated to the United States with his family when he was 12 years old.  Coming from a family of seafarers, the sea was also in Claus’s blood and he went to sea for two years with the Merchant Marine.  This love and respect of the sea influenced and inspired an enduring theme in his work: the picturesque adventure of seafaring.

Wading Bird ink and watercolour by Claus Hoie @ 1980

Wading Bird
ink and watercolour by Claus Hoie @ 1980

Settling in Brooklyn, New York, Claus spent four years in the army after which he continued his studies in Paris.  His imaginative and intricate renderings of plants, insects, fish, birds, still-life , and landscape draw the viewer in with charm and a welcoming warmth.  Hoie is possibly best known for his depiction of the whaling world in his illustrated book ‘The Log of the Whaler Helena’ in 1994.  Both words and images are Hoie’s creation – filled with the haunted tracings of seamen’s lives, and of the whales they hunted. Here word and image combine to show us much more.  Light and shadow, sibilance, visage’s gaunt and dogged, the utter strength and power of it all strive together.  In the end, ‘The Log of the Whaler Helena’ is a work of forthright truth and muscular beauty.

Images powerful and awesome, charming and familiar were his milieu.  Art displaying life, the love of it and the adventures in it – both simple and intense.

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