I strive to be a storyteller. My function is to create a two-dimensional formal image that will best contain the story. To create a sense of space that has somehow been altered or transformed by an event.
James is a serious printmaker. His quirky, monumental drawings, etchings, and lithographs of intricately staged narratives are inspired by Judeo-Christian and classical sources, as well as art history. Munce’s “two-dimensional formal structure”, puts his own twist on a venerable mode of pictorial storytelling that originated in the Renaissance.
Munce is serious and studies his subjects thoroughly. The combination of his fertile imagination and knowledge of his subjects create a work that tells a new story that transcends time. He treats each “story” as if it was simply literature. To lessens its religious constraints, embellishes it with his own creativity and removes it from time by juxtaposing elements and details of the past with those of the present. Each piece is preceded by numerous sketches and studies and sometimes finished drawings. Munce painstakingly prepares the plates and prints his own work. His pen and ink drawings are masterpieces of draftsmanship. The final result is one common to all enduring art: it enables the viewer to be drawn into the scene and feel a connection to the artist’s mind and soul.
James Munce received his BFA in printmaking at the Minneapolis School of Art in 1966. He completed his MFA in printmaking at Indiana University in 1971. After teaching in Hawaii for a year, Munce moved to Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas and began his long-term career as a professor in printmaking.