Eric Aho

Eric Aho’s “Water Line” features lines representing water and a fishing line being cast.

Aho paints inside-out

Painter Eric Aho paints as if he were standing in the middle of a river — at the juncture of an interruption.

So writes Tayloe Piggott Gallery, which hosts an exhibit of new work by the internationally displayed artist in a show titled “Interiors,” opening Thursday and hanging through Sept. 19.

The stream, Piggott writes, represents a succession of events, a procession of time, whose confluence is ultimately our own consciousness.

“We bring to it whatever matters most at the very moment,” the gallery offered. “The rapids and falls, themselves disturbances and disruptions, move over and around accumulated debris in nature as in life.”

Aho paints at the boundary of abstract and landscape, constructing composition that can feel as comforting or as confusing as nature itself.

“A vibrating current of electricity dwells just behind everything in nature and the encounter with the painting,” writer Tim Weed said. Aho’s work, “like [an] encounter with [a] trout, links you to that current, if only for a fleeting instant. A connection is made between you and something larger. Something important and true.”

Within each painting, Aho captures the dichotomy of being in the wilderness, feeling connected to the environment and at the same moment disrupting the natural setting.

Born in Melrose, Massachusetts, Aho studied at the Central Saint Martins School of Art and Design in London and received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in printmaking at the Massachusetts College of Art in Boston. He has exhibited throughout the U.S. and internationally, with recent solo exhibitions at the New Britain Museum of American Art, New Britain, Connecticut; the Hood Museum of Art in Hanover, New Hampshire; the Federal Reserve Board in Washington, D.C.; and the Currier Museum of Art, Manchester, New Hampshire. His work is held in permanent collections at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco; Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, Denver Art Museum; Hood Museum of Art, Hanover, New York; The Metropolitan Museum of Art and among others.

“Standing before a canvas,” Aho writes of his work, “like standing in the woods, is much the same. It takes a moment for the eye to adjust to less light in the forest as much as it does to quiet the mind. Is this what Whitman meant by ‘unminding’ — to just look without disturbance?”

View Aho’s latest and get information about him and his show at TayloePiggottGallery.com, or go straight to EricAho.com for details.

Sanders, Fryer at Altamira

Utah painters Jared Sanders and Douglas Fryer present new work in a dual exhibition — Sanders’ “Down to Earth” and Fryer’s “The Farthest Pasture” — Tuesday at Altamira Fine Art on Center Street.

Both artists approach the natural world with “sagacity and discernment,” gallery press material states. “They see the real and the essential, and they find the forms to express such perspectives in paint.”

Sanders’ vision is sharp and focused, penetrating the architecture of a quintessential sample of the West’s rural built environment as well as the shapes and forms of the landscape itself.

“A career-long quest … has led him to ever more articulate and associative destinations,” Altamira writes of his arc. “In his new paintings, the essentials receive portrait treatment: a hillside teeming with pine trees, car tracks disappearing in snowmelt. His portrait of a tree silhouetted against an expansive sky reads like a color field painting; where the marked earth ends, the rolling sky starts, areas imbued with the intrigue and depth of abstract paintings.”

Fryer similarly searches for the soul of the landscapes. A winter spent dealing with serious health issues instilled an awareness of life’s fragility and death’s close proximity, and his most recent work deals in allegorical realms of rest for lost loved ones, experiences of pain and mourning.

“Fryer describes it in paint,” Altamira writes, “scenes idealized yet veiled by a physical and psychological distance even the artist cannot bridge.”

A reception for the tandem exhibitions is set for 5:30-7:30 p.m. Aug. 5. The show hangs through Aug. 14. For information and an online preview, go to AltamiraArt.com, or call 739-4700 for info..

Since moving to Jackson Hole in 1992, Richard has covered everything from local government and criminal justice to sports and features. He currently concentrates on arts and entertainment, heading up the Scene section.

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