My artwork references the human condition—the fact that we alter the surface of the planet in both strange and beautiful ways.
It's been nearly 50 years since I've performed, The Unexpected Always Happens, an ongoing mixed media work started in 1972. It was first performed at the Museum of Conceptual Art in San Francisco (Tom Marioni's place) and then at the Mills College Concert Hall as part of "works in progress" by music and art graduate students. I have kept adding to the piece over the years, as it informs the paintings that I do. On Sunday, July 28, 2021, I was thrilled to perform a segment from this work at the O'Hanlon Center for the Arts in Mill Valley, CA during their Sunday evening Salon. I was accompanied by Kenny Blacklock on violin.
The live performance was an extension of my piece, The Unexpected Always Happens: Black Crowned Night Heron at Five Brooks Pond, which is featured in the exhibit, LOCAL INSPIRATIONS, at the O'Hanlon Center of the Arts. The show was curated by Natasha Boas Ph.D. and features the work by artists in the Greater San Francisco Bay Area. The exhibit runs through August 13, 2021. CLICK HERE for more information about the show.
The O’Hanlon Center for the Arts is located in Northern California on two acres at the base of Marin County’s Mount Tamalpais. It has much in common with other California artists’ colonies founded in the early and mid 20th century. CLICK HERE for more information about the Center.
Recently, I reread one of my favorite books: The Outermost House by Henry Beston. Written in 1928, Beston describes building a small cabin on Cape Cod, very close to the pounding Atlantic. He stayed the entire year, chronicling the adventure throughout the four seasons. "The world today is sick to its thin blood for the lack of elemental things, for fire before the hands, for water, for air, for the dear earth itself underfoot." His words are so poetic that the first time I read it I could not put it down.
This past year has been unlike any other, and not just because of the COVID-19 pandemic. I felt I needed to read Beston's book again. His words and perspective are so moving that the book became a central source of inspiration for my new work, Einstein's House Moved To An Unknown Promontory.
The house that's featured in the painting is a home that Albert Einstein once lived in. About 15 years ago I visited the house. I’ve always been interested in Einstein and located the address; 112 Mercer Street on the campus of Princeton University. One of my earlier works, The Home of Albert Einstein Moved to the Top of Silbury Hill, a Prehistoric Mound in Wiltshire England, was inspired by that visit.
For this new piece, I started as I almost always do: with a place—very much unknown. After that place was defined, I made the decision to move Einstein’s house from New Jersey to “an unknown promontory”, clearly influenced by Beston. It becomes the intersection of time and space, past and future.
As we emerge from the year-long COVID 19 quarantine, the literal and existential meaning of "home" and "place" has become central to collective reflection. One hopes that even within isolating circumstances, we can always connect to the threads that bind us to the surroundings of our natural world. As Beston so eloquently wrote, “Into every empty corner, into all forgotten things and nooks, nature struggles to pour life.”
Einstein's House Moved To An Unknown Promontory is available for sale through Tom Gehrig Studio. For additional detail photos, CLICK HERE.
Conceptualized during the COVID-19 pandemic quarantine, one of Tom Gehrig's new works, “Rags of Mist”, emerged.
Gehrig was inspired by a quote from both Charles Dickens and Stephan Mallarme. The former is from Great Expectations, the latter—a very influential poem entitled, A Throw Of The Dice, which Gehrig recited in a live performance alongside jazz musicians. The Dickens quote referenced reads, "The day came creeping on, halting and whimpering and shivering, and wrapped in patches of clouds and rags of mist.”
Rags of Mist is available for sale directly through Tom Gehrig's studio. CLICK HERE for more info and additional images.
"The de Young Open" exhibition will be open to the public from October 10, 2020 – January 3, 2021.
On October 6, 2020, the de Young museum held a preview of the show for all the featured artists — and it was amazing! Works of art in The de Young Open exhibit are hung “salon-style,” installed edge to edge and floor to ceiling, which enables a maximum number of works to be displayed. The show is housed in the 12,000-square-foot Herbst Exhibition Galleries, featuring 877 artworks by 762 Bay Area artists.
The de Young Open continues the museum’s long-standing tradition of engaging the local community and showcasing the talent of Bay Area artists, who will be able to offer their pieces for sale and retain 100% of the proceeds. Access The de Young Open Web Gallery to explore artworks in the exhibition. You will find instructions for purchase on this site. Tom Gehrig's work, Reconnoitering Deception Pass, is hung in Gallery 5 and is numerically catalogued, #404. Click here for a direct link to the piece, which is available for sale.
Event Photos: "The de Young Open" Artists' Preview, October 6, 2020
The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco's juried exhibit, The de Young Open, is part of the de Young Museum’s 125th anniversary celebration. This show continues the museum’s long-standing tradition of engaging the local community and showcasing the talent of Bay Area artists. The theme of the show is, “On the Edge”, which derives from both the Bay Area’s geographic location on the Pacific Rim, but also the region’s historical reputation for leading-edge, cutting-edge, or edgy culture and creativity.
The museum received an overwhelming response to the open call, with over 6,000 artists registered and over 11,500 works of art submitted. The jurors narrowed down the entries to 881 pieces that will be displayed in the museum’s 12,000-square-foot Herbst Exhibition Galleries. Artists exhibiting work will be able to offer their pieces for sale and to retain 100 percent of the proceeds.
ABOUT THE JURORS: Timothy Anglin Burgard (Distinguished Senior Curator) and Ednah Root (Curator in Charge of American Art) led a curatorial jury that included; Claudia Schmuckli (Curator of Contemporary Art and Programming), Karin Breuer (Curator in Charge of the Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts) at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, and renowned Bay Area artists; Enrique Chagoya, Hung Liu and Mildred Howard.
My latest mixed media piece involves lines, implied movement, and sound — jet trails, a flock of birds flying in formation, a lone Verbena bonariensis, string suspended between rocks, and real string that form a facsimile of an Aeolian Harp.
My first exposure to classical music was a concert by the Oakland Symphony which featured two works that stayed with me forever: Mahler’s First Symphony and a work by Henry Cowell, which was full of dissonance—notes that seemed wrong but resolved into something so right. Some years later while studying multimedia at Mills College, I took a class in 20th Century Music from Nathan Rubin—the concertmaster of the Oakland Symphony from that very same evening!
An Aeolian Harp is a type of box zither on which sounds are produced by the movement pitch of wind over its strings. The strings are all tuned to the same pitch. In the wind they vibrate in equal parts (i.e., in halves, thirds, fourths…), so that the strings produce the natural overtones (harmonics). In this work, I am conceptually suggesting the sound of the wind, the Verbena bending in that wind as the birds fly by. There is a lot of movement and sound being suggested in this frozen moment.
"The Aeolian Harp" is available for sale directly through Tom Gehrig Studios. CLICK HERE for more info and additional images.
The 2020 Left Coast Exhibition was scheduled to open at Sanchez Art Center on Friday, April 10, 2020. As the world turned upside down with the spread of COVID-19, it became clear that the exhibition would not be able to take place in-person as communities responded to shelter-in-place orders to protect public health.
In response, artists and Sanchez Art Center staff quickly pivoted to present the show in a newly created virtual gallery.
This year's juror is Carin Adams, Curator of Art at the Oakland Museum of California. Carin will be having a virtual Juror's Talk and Artist Gallery Walk on Sunday, April 26, 3 -5pm. CLICK HERE to sign up for this event at the bottom of the page.
The 2020 Left Coast Annual Exhibition at Sanchez Art Center was juried by Carin Adams, curator of art at the Oakland Museum of California. Over 1,000 entries were submitted by artists that live and work on the west coast of the USA.
The opening reception for Left Coast will be held on Friday, April 10, 7–9pm. Closing the show will be a juror's talk and a gallery walk on Sunday, May 17, 3pm.
The Jennifer Perlmutter Gallery, located in Lafayette, CA, has an ongoing pop-up in a commercial building formerly occupied by a Wells Fargo bank. JPG@TheBank is a large, dynamic space that showcases museum quality art across all disciplines.
San Francisco Bay Area artist, Tom Gehrig, has works featured at the pop-up—all available for purchase through the gallery. All three pieces are stunning oil paintings that incorporate mixed-media elements. Anchored as nocturne landscapes, the compositions are punctuated with celestial mapping, lunar illumination, and intrigue.
JPG @ The Bank serves to amplify our cultural and artistic voice. A hub where artists, fans, and collectors will come together for culture, community, and commerce. Located at 3525 Mt. Diablo Boulevard, the JPG pop-up is open Thursday – Saturday 2-6pm and Wednesdays & Sundays 12-4pm.
For more information, visit JPG@TheBank or call the gallery: 925-284-1485
TOM GEHRIG fine art