Published: September 11, 2015
ALLENTOWN, PENN. — The Baum School of Art will host “Mystery & Magic, the Trompe L’oeil Vision of Gary Erbe” in an exhibition in the David E. Rodale and Rodale Family Galleries, September 16–October 17. Gary Erbe will give a gallery talk on Wednesday, September 23, also from 6 to 8 pm. Both events are free and open to the public.
Trompe l’oeil, translated from the French, means to “to fool the eye.” The mystery and magic of Erbe’s work, inspired by the trompe l’oeil masters of the past, is much more than a novelty or technical exercise. The deliberate arrangement of his assemblages, using artifacts from the past, including baseball cards, comic books, playbills and objects of nostalgia such as dolls and vintage toys and games, create mysterious narratives designed to intrigue the viewer. His skillful renderings of these assemblages tinker with the viewer’s perception of reality. His magic reveals itself through a mastery of both craft and concept.
Erbe’s paintings free objects from their natural surroundings via the illusion of levitation and through the juxtaposition of unrelated objects. Flat space forms are exaggerated and enhanced by shadow, light and color.
Gary T. Erbe (b 1944), is a self-taught oil painter, born in Union City, N.J., where he maintained his studio from 1972 to 2005. Erbe was employed as an engraver from 1965 to 1970 while developing his personal approach to trompe l’oeil painting. In 1969, he coined the term “Levitational Realism,” which was a break away from traditional realism. He currently has his studio in Nutley, N.J.
Erbe has exhibited extensively with solo exhibitions at the Butler Institute of American Art, the Springfield Art Museum, the Montclair Art Museum, the Boca Raton Museum, the New Jersey State Museum, the New Britain Museum of American Art and the Canton Art Museum.
Other solo shows include the Westmoreland Museum, the National Arts Club in New York City, the James A. Michener Art Museum, the Woodmere Art Museum and the prestigious Salmagundi Club in Mnahattan, among others. Awards include the Butler Institute of American Art Lifetime Achievement Medal, 2003; Salmagundi Club Medal of Honor, 2007; National Museum of Sport Gold Medal 2010 and many others.
The Baum School of Art is at 510 Linden Street; hours are Monday–Thursday, 9 am to 9 pm; Friday and Saturday, 9 am to 3 pm, and closed on Sunday. For more information, www.baumschool.org or 610-433-0032.
5 Church Hill Road / Newtown, CT 06470
Mon - Fri / 8:00 am - 5:01 pm