Compost Study, Lemons: Encaustic on panel, 2009 21 x25 1/2 inches
Compost Study, Dark: Encaustic on panel, 2010 12 x 19 inches
Compost Study, Eaten, Blue Center: Encaustic on panel, 2010 16 x 32 inches
Eric Hesse and I were in a show together at the Bakersfield Museum of Art nearly 2 years ago. In that show: Melt My Art, he had a number of small cityscapes paired with a series of mysterious interiors. I was taken by a scene of the Bay Bridge, all in grays and blues, one of those paintings that transforms one to another place, yet this place was my own back yard, but somehow not.
Eric's new work will be in a show with four other artists opening March 5th at the Surface Gallery, Cross Pollination: Connections Through the Art of Encaustic. I got a preview at his studio last week. Eric's palette is no ones but his own. He mixes all his colors, using dry pigments and encaustic mediums, then he paints, and paints, and I don't know what I love more, the intimate landscapes or the freedom of these larger compost studies.
Surface Gallery Encaustic Show 2010
Eric Hesse was born in the Philadelphia region of Pennsylvania. As a high school student, he discovered the ancient medium of encaustic as a permanent and rewarding alternative to oil paint. Throughout his career He’s employed other materials and techniques, including egg tempera, gouache, watercolor, and oil, but has always returned to encaustic as it developed into his most personal form of communication.
After attending Temple University and The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Hesse received his BA with Departmental Distinction from Saint Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota.
In March 2000 Hesse receved national recognition as he was selected as a fellow in the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts’ Fellowship program. The award culminated with an exhibition at the Corcoran Museum in Washington DC in 2002.
Hesse currently lives in California, where he divides his time between Los Angeles and San Francisco.
"Encaustic provides a unique opportunity to explore the balance between control and chaos. In trying to wrestle a recognizable image from a fluid and often incorrigible medium, an intriguing tension emerges. Straight lines are a luxury, and rendering is nearly impossible. Objects that would appear brittle or stiff are depicted with a gestural, almost aqueous fluidity.
The plant materials I’ve painted are either dead or in the final throes of life. Extracted from their natural environments, and captured without context or season, they live on though expired. Stark but beautiful, they encourage us to see magic in decay, and call to mind our own fragile and fleeting state: only through the loss of life can life be sustained."
Cross Pollination: Connections Through the Art of Encaustic March 5th-May 1st
1703 20th Street