Gerard Erley

"From Vistas to Vases"

May 9 – June 15, 2013

Reception for the artist May 9, 6 – 8 pm

An oil painting exhibition featuring Gerard Erley will open in the City Art main gallery on May 9 with a reception for the artist from 6-8pm. The show will continue until June 15, 2013. Gerard Erley, an Illinois native currently living in South Carolina, has had over two dozen solo exhibits throughout the United States. His award-winning artwork has been exhibited in over 200 juried shows, winning over 60 awards. The artist’s work has hung in museums and galleries from New York to California, and can be found in museum, corporate and private collections both in the United States and abroad.

Gerard creates his imaginary landscapes in oil paint on canvas and panels. He rarely refers to photos or sketches, preferring to paint in the studio from memory and intuition. The artist is influenced by such 19th-century American and European painters as George Inness, Corot, and Turner. Like them, he seeks a sublime quality of light in his romantic landscapes.

“The oil paintings on display are divided into two distinct bodies of work, thus the title of the exhibit, “From Vistas to Vases.”

The landscape paintings (the Vistas) represent a direction to which I have been committed for a number of years. Although these paintings present the landscape, I do not paint nature in an attempt to duplicate what the eye sees. Rather, landscape imagery is explored for its expressive potential, its unique emotional language. The oil paintings are created without the aid of photographs or on-site sketches. Instead, I rely on a mixture of impressions from nature, an awareness of art history, and a healthy dose of intuition. What I hope to realize in paint is something both poetic and persuasively real.

The floral paintings (or Vases) are a recent exploration. In them, I reference actual flowers as I paint. The blooms provide intense colors, unique shapes, and sometime potent aromas, all of which inspire my visual journey. On the canvas, a playful arrangement of elements results, not unlike a jazz improvisation on a given melody.

I find that painting the landscapes (with no real land in sight) leads to a seemingly more “literal” take on the subject, presenting views that just might actually exist. In contrast, in working from life with the flowers, I am prompted to work in a less “realistic” manner, leading to a free form approach to color and shape. I am surprised that this should be the case. Oh, the vagaries of art!”