Threshold: An exhibition of paintings by Eric Aho opens at DC Moore Gallery

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Threshold: An exhibition of paintings by Eric Aho opens at DC Moore Gallery
Eric Aho, "Orion, Mists, and Fireflies, No. 1", 2022. Oil on linen, 36 x 42 inches.

NEW YORK, NY.- DC Moore Gallery is presenting Threshold, an exhibition of paintings by Eric Aho, on view from October 13 – November 12, 2022. In this new series of paintings, Eric Aho explores the various “threshold” spaces between water, earth, sky, and our own physical presence in the landscape. Developed over the past two years and drawn from the artist’s explorations of forests and wetlands, Aho reconstructs and reinvents his observations, composing a visual language of natural forms, feelings, and remembrances.

The borders where natural elements meet are disrupted by Aho’s intricate mark-making. Recognizable space is clarified towards the top of many of the paintings, where stark pine trees cut across open patches of sky. Moving towards the bottom of his canvases, closer to the artist’s vantage point, forms become fluid and colors grow more vivid, even fantastical. Critic Andrew Shea writes, “Aho allows the eye to wander, and his collection of smaller glimpses propose a teeming whole, accumulating and collapsing along with the precarious landscapes they depict.”

In Vernal Pool (Oxford County) (2022), the mirrored effect of the water's surface animates the landscape, evoking the experience of moving through this unsteady terrain. Diamond shapes and convex forms, often referencing light, mists, and movements of air, press against the rectangle of the canvas, expanding or contracting the plane of the painting’s surface.

Aho describes the lake’s surface depicted in many of his works as both “mirror and void,” and indeed, the painted ponds are filled with aesthetic and metaphorical oppositions. The forest and the pond are in constant states of flux, following phases of growth, decay, and regeneration. Aho returns to these sites at different times of day and weathers, evoking these transient natural states in atmospheric color, such as the flickering yellow lights of Orion, Mists, and Fireflies No. 1 (2022).

With wild spaces undergoing rapid change and fragmentation, Aho’s work suggests there is a moral imperative to look closely at nature. In this regard, his paintings may serve as a valuable and necessary witness, measuring change at the scale of days, seasons, and life cycles of the successional forest through the material record of paint. We find the forest both at rest, as if in a state of meditative quiet, and also at a moment of resounding, emphatic life engaging all the senses.

An illustrated catalog with the essay by Andrew L. Shea, “Eric Aho: At the Edge of a Lake,” accompanies the exhibition.

Eric Aho lives and works in Saxtons Rivers, VT. After studying at the Central School of Art and Design in London, Aho received his BFA, and in 1989 participated in the first exchange of scholars between the U.S. and Cuba in over thirty years. Recent solo exhibitions include: Eric Aho: Headwater at the Burlington City Arts Center, VT (2022); Eric Aho: An Unfinished Point in a Vast Surrounding at the New Britain Museum of American Art, CT (2016); Eric Aho: Ice Cuts at the Hood Museum of Art, Hanover, NH (2016); Eric Aho: In the Landscape at the Federal Reserve Board, Washington, D.C. (2013); and Transcending Nature: Paintings by Eric Aho at the Currier Museum of Art, Manchester, NH (2012). Other exhibitions have taken place at the Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, Ridgefield, CT; Portland Art Museum, MA; Ogunquit Museum of American Art, MA; National Academy, NY; and American Academy of Arts and Letters, NY.

Aho’s works are held in the permanent collections of the Currier Museum of Art, Manchester, NH; Denver Art Museum, CO; Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, CA; Fleming Museum, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT; Hood Museum of Art, Hanover, NH; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA; The Neuberger Museum of Art, Purchase, NY; New Britain Museum of American Art, CT; and the Oulu Museum of Art, Finland, among others.

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