On View: October 6 – November 30, 2020
Caitlin Berry Fine Art is delighted to present Eric Uhlir: Remember an Infinite Wave, featuring fifteen oil paintings and ten paintings on paper. The exhibition is an Artsy online exclusive with bespoke virtual gallery installation views created by Montgomery + Townsend Architecture and Design. The exhibition is viewable on Artsy today through November 30, 2020. 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. Remember an Infinite Wave 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.” His 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 dichotomies of Remember an Infinite Wave seem to be the themes most likely to emerge from this gut-punch of a year. People can be many things at once, horribly destructive and deeply compassionate.
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 and his work is held in private collections across the United States. He keeps a studio in Washington, DC. This is his first exhibition with Caitlin Berry Fine Art.
Montgomery + Townsend Architecture and Design is a boutique architecture firm with offices in Charlottesville, Virginia and Seattle, Washington led by founders Andrew Montgomery and Steven Townsend. MTAD specializes in providing bespoke, thoughtful architectural projects at a variety of scales.