Tom Gehrig Statement

At the core of Mr. Gehrig’s compositions is an intention to set a surreal stage for personal, site-specific happenings. The work references the human condition—the fact that we alter the surface of the planet in both strange and beautiful ways.

The most recent works are the Temporary Monuments and Replicas series. The “props” or objects in the paintings are both theatrical and formal, expressing a temporal existence. The landscape itself plays the role of a stage for the structures, objects and fragments of information. The works are often surrounded by a mixed media background created on a computer that could include mathematics, maps, words and the title of the piece itself.  A word could morph into an algebraic expression or geometry axiom. An unusual dichotomy takes place between the theater that is happening within the canvas and the sea of information that it floats upon.

Tom received a B.A. (1971) at the California College of the Arts where he studied painting with
Arthur Okamura, Peter Shoemaker and Robert Bechtle.

He received an M.F.A. (1973) in Intermedia at Mills College, where he worked closely with electronic music composer Robert Ashley. It was this experience that opened the door to experimentation with collage, surreal imagery, theater and performance. Tom created many performances that combined sculpture as theater. These works included “Objects & Theater” (1976, 80 Langton Street)  and “The Voice From The Sea”  (1977, Oberlin Dance Collective Performance Gallery), both accompanied by musician Paul Robinson.

Tom is the recent recipient of the Individual Artists Grant from the Marin Arts Council. His work is collected nationally and is represented by galleries in Seattle, WA and Big Sky, Montana.