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Gary Erbe: book signing and lecture

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The Salmagundi Club 47 5th Ave

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New York, NY 10003

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"Footprints: The Art and Life of Gary Erbe"
The Salmagundi Club
47 Fifth Avenue
New York, New York
Upper Gallery, April 18, 2019


Thursday, 7:00PM

Sponsored by the SCNY Program Committee.

Gary Erbe will lecture on his work which spans over 50 years followed by a book signing. This 300 page large format volume is scholarly written by Dr. Thomas Folk, Dr. Carol Lowrey, Carter Ratcliff, Dr. Michael W. Schantz and Dr. Louis A. Zona with over 250 color illustrations. It was published on the occasion of Mr. Erbe’s 50 year retrospective which travelled to 5 institutions.

Gary T. Erbe (born 1944) is an American oil painter. He is self-taught, and he is best known for his trompe l' oeils. Unable to attend art school, he worked as an engraver from 1965-1970 to support himself and family. In 1967, Erbe discovered Trompe l'oeil painting and its masters. It was then that he recognized his particular place. In 1969, Erbe conceived a way of creating paintings that would be more contemporary and a departure from the 19th Century Trompe l'oeil masters. By freeing objects from their natural surroundings via the illusion of levitation and through the juxtaposition of objects that in reality had no relationship, he could create thought provoking paintings. In the same year, Erbe coined the term "levitational realism". In 1970, Erbe decided to pursue his art full time and began to actively exhibit his work. 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 in his work, he has less of an interest in fooling the eye in favor of stimulating the mind.

Erbe was honored with a 25-year traveling retrospective in 1995, a 40-year traveling retrospective in 2010 and a 50-year traveling retrospective in 2018, all organized by The Butler Institute of American Art.

Erbe has exhibited extensively since 1970 with solo exhibitions at Museums and galleries throughout America. His work has been exhibited at the Canton Museum of Art, the Brinton Museum, the Boca Raton Museum of Art, the Heckscher Museum of Art, the Baum School of Art, the Reading Public Museum. , The Butler Institute of American Art, Montclair Art Museum, Springfield Art Museum in MO, New Jersey State Museum, New Britain Museum of American Art, The James A. Michener Art Museum, Salmagundi Club and The National Arts Club.

He was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Butler Institute of American Art in 2003, the Medal of Honor from the Salmagundi Club in 2007, the Gold Medal from the National Museum of Sport in 2010, First Prize Award from the National Arts Club in 1997,First Prize Award from The Peto Studio Museum in 2013, Gold Medal of Honor from Audubon Artists in 1998 and Gold Medal of Honor from Allied Artists of America in 1975, 1984, 1991, 2006, 2007 and 2010.

Erbe is in the permanent collection of many institutions including The Philipps Collection, Washington, DC; Philadelphia Museum of Art, PA; Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, PA; Terra Foundation for American Art, IL; Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, AK; Colby College Museum of Art, ME; Brandywine River Museum, PA; The Brinton Museum, WY; Montclair Art Museum, NJ; The Heckscher Museum of Art, NY; Phoenix Art Museum, AZ, The Butler Institute of American Art, OH; Boca Raton Museum of Art, FL; Springfield Art Museum, MO; New Britain Museum of American Art, CT; The Peto Studio Museum, NJ; The National Arts Club, NYC; Salmagundi Club, NYC; Reading Public Museum, PA; Museum of Art-Deland, FL; Archives of American Art, Washing, DC; amongst others.

Mr. Erbe will have a solo exhibition at the Gerald Peters Gallery, NYC, May 8-June 7, 2019 and Motiva ConCensus is producing a documentary on Mr. Erbe’s art and life which will be released in May 2019.


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The Salmagundi Club 47 5th Ave

47 5th Avenue

New York, NY 10003

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