DC Moore Gallery is pleased to present Source, an exhibition of new work by the American painter, Vermont–based artist Eric Aho. This presentation marks the artist’s seventh solo show with DC Moore.
On view in the gallery will be a new series of monumental and intimately scaled paintings. The artist imagined the canvases emerging one after the other, as remembered glimpses of the landscape passed on a walk through the woods in search of something, toward some unknown destination. He writes, “Sometimes I felt alone in the woods at the river’s edge, at other times I was in the company of Walt Whitman, Constance Gordon Cumming, or John McPhee. It was the image of the Kingfisher, following northern streams and rivers as described by 19th-century naturalist John Burroughs that planted the idea of an intentional seeking-searching-roaming in the paintings.”
Painted over the past two years in Aho’s Vermont studio and exhibited publicly for the first time will be the Source Paintings, an installation of twenty-six smaller canvases painted during the pandemic lockdown. Like the larger paintings, these intimate works take rivers, rapids and waterfalls, streams, brooks, and mill ponds coursing through deep forests as their main subjects. Color and temperature, and scale and movement in the landscape inform the rhythms, vibrations, and atmosphere in these new paintings.
In the exhibited works, Aho also continues his decades-long dialogue with other artists who also painted the river notably Winslow Homer, Marsden Hartley, the Canadian Tom Thomson, and English painters John Constable, and Samuel Palmer. While the painterly cues Aho responds to seem to straddle both Romantic and Modernist concerns, he says, “I think I paint the way I live in the world - with a present minded-ness.” Indeed, the paintings presented in Source continue to deftly address exchanges between contrasts of abstraction and representation, experience and memory, and human physicality and natural phenomena.
Aho’s paintings convey both joy and dread, beauty and harshness, through a sensitivity for the sublime in feeling and sensation in the natural world. He’s also acutely aware of the physical and psychological disconnect between the environment and the individual. “These paintings are about being both a part of something and also strangely separate from it, bearing witness to its transience.”
The exhibition places the viewer in an immersive wilderness experience that inserts itself boldly into the conversation of what painting from life and representing the natural world means today.
An illustrated exhibition catalogue with an essay by Eric Aho will be available at DC Moore Gallery.
Eric Aho lives and works in Saxtons River, VT. After studying at the Central School of Art and Design in London, Aho received his BFA, and in 1989 participated in the first exchange of scholars between the U.S. and Cuba in over thirty years. Recent solo exhibitions include Eric Aho New Britain Museum of American Art, CT (2016); Eric Aho: Ice Cuts Hood Museum of Art, Hanover, NH (2016); Eric Aho: In the Landscape Federal Reserve Board, Washington, DC (2013); and Transcending Nature: Paintings by Eric Aho Currier Museum of Art, Manchester, NH (2012). The artist’s work has also been featured in numerous international group exhibitions, such as: New at the Neuberger, Neuberger Museum of Art, Purchase College, SUNY, Purchase, NY (2019); Aperture, Hiram Butler Gallery, Houston, TX (2017); 32°: The Art of Winter, Shelburne Museum, VT (2016); Mystic North: Burchfield, Sibelius, & Nature, Burchfield Penney Art Center at SUNY Buffalo State, NY (2015); Changing Soil: Contemporary Landscape Painting, Nagoya/ Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Japan (2010); and Northern (L)attidues: Norwegian and American Contemporary Art, Scandinavia House, New York, NY (2009).
Aho’s works are included in the permanent collections of the Currier Museum of Art, Manchester, NH; Denver Art Museum, CO; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA; Neuberger Museum of Art, Purchase, NY; Hood Museum of Art, Hanover, NH; National Academy Museum, New York, NY; The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, CA; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY; The New Britain Museum of American Art, CT, among others.
For press inquiries contact Caroline Magavern.
On Intimacy and Distance: Eric Aho in Conversation with Todd Bradway
October 14, 2020
Eric Aho Studio Walkthrough: Artist discusses the painting Kingfisher