" Gary Edward Blum's acrylics which at first glace appear to be pure abstractions surprise the viewer with their trompe l'oeil details." – Peter Selz
“Blum juggles modes of pictorial reality, creating productive tensions between flatness and depth, and intriguing interplays between fact and representation. He has a painterly feel for a color and surface as well as a gift for gamesmanship.” - Mark Van Proyen
Paul Mahder Gallery is pleased to present, “Empty and Beautiful” paintings and drawings by Gary Edward Blum. A reception will be held on Thursday, February 7, 2013 from 6:00 – 9:00 pm. This exhibit will be on display through March 31, 2013. Paul Mahder Gallery is located in Presidio Heights at 3378 Sacramento Street at Walnut.
With their tiers of horizontal stripes and extended fields of color, Blum’s compositions can be seen as emerging out of the legacies of Minimalism and Abstract Expressionism. Indeed, Agnes Martin’s emphasis on lines and grids and aspects of Richard Diebenkorn’s later color field paintings can be observed in Blum’s work. But the exercise Blum has in mind extends far beyond a mere reworking of established styles.
Intrigued by dualities and the phenomena of coexistence, Blum introduces aspects of realism into certain sections – typically the upper register – of his compositions as a means of creating stylistic opposition. His use of trompe l’oeil to realistically render swatches of paper held up by strips of cellophane tape challenges the distinction between art and life and sheds light on the way in which representation is translated from experience. Like miniature paintings, these tangible bits of paper mimic the abstract renderings often found in the bottom half of the composition. By employing divergent styles to create a picture within a picture, the viewer comes away from Blum’s work with the understanding that oppositions can exist harmoniously in the same space.