Eric Aho: Red Winter
October 8 – November 7, 2009
DC Moore Gallery is pleased to announce the upcoming exhibition Eric Aho: Red Winter, October 8 to November 7, 2009.
Eric Aho explores extreme conditions of nature in landscape paintings that incorporate traditional representation, gestural abstraction, and implied figuration. Influenced by the history of painting in surprising ways, his work bridges diverse associations ranging from Courbet to deKooning.
The subjects of Aho’s recent paintings: ice floes, forest fires, and abandoned quarries, recall the immediacy and monumentality of nature. In them, he makes palpable the physicality of mass and texture while directing us to the more intangible qualities of light, movement, and time. Evoking tectonic sensation on a scale and with a painterly vigor appropriate to the wildernesses depicted, Aho conjures the density and friction of layers of ice, the bracing temperature of arctic water, the devastation of wildfire, and the immutability of cut rock. As representation dissolves into abstraction, these works simultaneously evoke grandeur and moments of intimacy. Aho explains, “I respond to extremes and the tension between clarity and indistinctness, the literal and the suggested, between the knowable and the unknowable. I am curious about the line we are unable to cross either physically, intellectually, or imaginatively.”
These recent paintings mark a significant departure from Aho’s earlier process, in which he focused on the landscape of his northern New England surroundings. Now, personal anecdote, memory, and invention are deliberately introduced into the content and meaning drawn from firsthand experience of the observable landscape. Intervening between the seen and the imagined, Aho explores “how a single painted image can mediate an equivalent level of tension and sensation present in an individual’s relationship to the physical world.”
Following studies at the Central School of Art and Design in London, Aho received his BFA from the Massachusetts College of Art. In 1989 he participated in the first exchange of scholars, in over thirty years, between the U.S. and Cuba. His postgraduate work was completed at the Institute of Art and Design in Lahti, Finland supported by a Fulbright Fellowship and a grant from the American Scandinavian Foundation.
Aho’s paintings are collected widely and have been shown internationally in Ireland, South Africa, Cuba, Norway, and Finland. Recent exhibitions in the United States include: Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, Ridgefield, CT; Hood Museum of Art, Hanover, NH; Portland Art Museum, ME; Ogunquit Museum of American Art, ME; National Academy, New York; and American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York. Eric Aho lives and works in Saxtons River, Vermont.