Caitlin Berry Fine Art at Culture House Presents Eric Uhlir: Before, After and In Between

By Editorial Team on April 5, 2021
Eric Uhlir, Rejoicing in Nature at Nature’s Expense, 2020. Courtesy of the Artist and Caitlin Berry Fine Art.
Opening Reception: Saturday, April 10th from 3:30pm to 5:30pm

On View: April 10 – May 8, 2021

In partnership with Caitlin Berry Fine Art, Culture House presents Eric Uhlir: Before, After and In Between. The exhibition is on view from April 10 – May 8, 2021 and is open to the public each Saturday from 12pm – 3pm. No appointments are required. Virtual talks and other programming will be announced during the course of the exhibition.

Often recontextualizing epic scenes from the Western European art historical canon, Eric Uhlir brings into play current ideas about climate change, colonialism, human interaction and migration. Before, After and In Between expands on these themes and explores the persistent social and political upheaval of our time. Uhlir frames this exploration with the trappings of his Southern California upbringing, calling forth imagery of endless sunshine, surf culture, and wildfires that continues to ravage the landscape today. Scenes of leisure and sport become surreal against the decimation of the natural landscape.

Using a vibrant palette of bright colors signifying West Coast cool, Uhlir’s marks are smooth and confident. Brushstrokes read as soliloquies to those who came before; Joan Mitchell, the de Koonings, Lucian Freud, Jenny Saville, and George Condo to name a few. Perhaps most abundant are Uhlir’s transitions between figuration and abstraction, referencing English painter Cecily Brown. Fragmented limbs and landscapes fold together in deference to layers of history, inferring that the human narrative plays on a loop. We’ve been here before and we will be here again.

Of our current malaise, Uhlir states, “dreams of our own Arcadia go up in flames, our imagined Utopias become an overcrowded milieu, connected through technology, but longing for an embrace. Separated, but together in our shared experience and totally at the mercy of a planet whose wholesale destruction we refuse to meaningfully address.”

Uhlir’s compositions position human civilization and the natural world at odds with one another, and yet there is a sense of inevitability in the tension. The hanging dichotomies of his work seem to be the themes most likely to emerge from this moment in time. People can be many things at once, horribly destructive and deeply compassionate.

About the Artist: Eric Uhlir (American, b. 1979) grew up in Southern California and earned his BFA from the University of Texas at Austin in 2003. His work is both figurative and abstract, examining the Anthropocene in the context of art history. He exhibited at IA&A at Hilyer in Washington, DC in 2019, virtually with Caitlin Berry Fine Art in 2020 and his work is held in private collections internationally. He keeps a studio in Washington, DC.

About Caitlin Berry Fine Art: Caitlin Berry Fine Art is a full service art advisory firm based in the Washington, DC area. Caitlin specializes in Post-War American, Washington Color School, and Contemporary Art.

About Culture House: Culture House is a 501(c)3 founded on the principle that art is a catalyst for change in the community, and is dedicated to providing inspiration and motivation for those who encounter its power. Culture House’s mission is to provide a functional art space for all to enjoy and learn more about the arts and culture through exhibitions, events, live performances, and hands-on experiences. Located at 700 Delaware Avenue SW, Culture House (formerly known as BlindWhino) is an artistic landmark, with the exterior fully painted by renowned muralist HENSE, and serves as a pillar for creativity in our nation’s capital. The gallery is open to the public on Saturdays from 12-3pm and by appointment. For the safety of our community and staff, all staff and visitors will be required to wear a mask and must remain at least six feet apart from other individuals. A maximum of ten visitors will be allowed at a time and must sign in before entering the gallery. 

Culture House is located at  700 Delaware Ave. SW.