Hocus Pocus by Gary T. Erbe, detail, oil on canvas, 1985

GARY T. ERBE Paintings & Constructions

Hocus Pocus by Gary T. Erbe, detail, oil on canvas, 1985

The first prize winner, years ago, of the John F. Peto Studio Museum’s very first Trompe l’oeil Competition, Gary T. Erbe returns to this historic Island Heights, NJ, house museum with a new exhibition of oil paintings and mixed media constructions. Museum hours: Saturday and Sunday, 1pm-4pm. Visit their website at petomuseum.org for further details.

On view July 2 through September 18, 2022, GARY T. ERBE Paintings & Constructions offers insight into Erbe’s decades long quest to create paintings that would be more contemporary and a departure from the 19th century Trompe l’oeil masters. Erbe’s work combines flat space forms that are exaggerated and enhanced by shadow, light and color. The result is pure three-dimensional illusion. While there are and will always be elements of Trompe l’oeil (fool the eye) in his work, he has less of an interest in fooling the eye in favor of stimulating the mind.

Hocus Pocus by Gary T. Erbe, oil on canvas, 1985

Hocus Pocus by Gary T. Erbe, 1985 oil on canvas, Private Collection, currently on view at the John F. Peto Studio Museum through September 18, 2022 with detail above.

”Over the years, I have explored the idiom of abstraction and cubism and how these modern principles can be integrated into Trompe l’oeil. I welcome the challenge of bridging the gap between modern art and realism without abandoning technique. I believe I have found ways of circumventing the so called rules of Trompe l’oeil in favor of originality, inventiveness and creativity. Most of my work since 1970 is highly complex and can be engaged on many different levels. I have underscored the point that my work has less to do with the tenets of Trompe l’oeil and far more to do with the creative process of discovery.” - Gary T. Erbe

Gary T. Erbe at his opening for the show, imaged in front of his painting, The Green-Eyed Amp

Gary T. Erbe at the opening for his show, imaged in front of his painting, The Green-Eyed Amp, oil on canvas, 2020

Self-taught, Gary T. Erbe has exhibited extensively since 1970 with solo exhibitions at Museums and galleries throughout America, Asia, and Europe. Erbe has been honored with numerous traveling retrospective exhibitions, most recently by The Butler Institute of American Art, OH, which toured beginning in 2017 through 2018.

FOOTPRINTS: THE ART AND LIFE OF GARY ERBE, published by The Butler on occasion of their exhibition, Gary Erbe: 50 Year Retrospective, is a highly recommended scholarly volume with over 250 illustrations written by a distinguished group of art historians.

View more work by one of America’s foremost Trompe l’oeil artists, Gary T. Erbe, on his website:  garyerbe.com

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