Ed Erdmann, Susan Harrison, Gretchen Durst Jacobs, and Matt Eckerle

“Abstract art” is an extensive term that sprawls throughout the archives of art history. It has a deeply rooted history across the world, and as centuries pass, we are still drawn to the unseen and the imagined. It spans all art forms and can be interpreted endlessly by each person that views the work.

There is no unchangeable formula to abstraction. Expressionism and even geometric abstraction provide radical freedom from principle, and in doing abstract work, artists are in a sort of conversation with the surface. Rituals and processes are created and sustained by the artist, not solely by the rules of the past. Color and shape are essential—they guide our eye, are loaded with meaning, and unlock the emotions of each image. Bold hues catch our attention while subtle tones provide a sense of peace, drawing each person deeper into the artist’s narrative.

This summer, 1628 is thrilled to be showcasing 19 local and regional artists in our first exclusively abstract show, Not Quite Seen: Investigating How Artists Perceive the World. Presenting new ways of looking at the world, it is an exploration of form, color, and emotion, created and interpreted uniquely by artist and viewer. Featured in this show are artists Ed Erdmann, Susan Harrison, Gretchen Durst Jacobs, and Matt Eckerle.

 

Ed Erdmann is an artist currently based in Cincinnati, Ohio, as the Manifest Gallery Artist in Residence. He holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Wisconsin–Stout. Erdmann’s work investigates the landscape and its relation to human mortality and myth. Through exploration of natural forces, Erdmann looks for ways to integrate those forces into his work. Wind, plants, trees, rivers, and soil all are active elements that find their way into Erdmann’s work. Their work has been shown in solo and group shows locally and regionally in places such as: Wisconsin Public Radio, Manifest Gallery in Cincinnati, OH, and Madison Museum of Contemporary Art in Madison, WI.

“Time has power. Like Sisyphus, the Earth is bound to cycles. The landscape speaks softly. Time is an arrow. Once it is loosed from the bow it will not stop until it hits the ground. Our human mortality acts in the same way. We, in varying degrees, have to wade through the mucky banks of mortality. Through walks I find connections to landscape and meditation in the stillness. The repetition and changing nature of seasonal weather guides the choices and materials that I use. Like a prayer, I repeat patterns, forms, and actions.”

 

Susan Harrison is a mixed media/installation artist, gallery owner, and exhibiting member of Pyro Gallery in Louisville, Kentucky. Her current body of work Staying Cozy During Covid: Comfort Designs features an installation of the artist’s textiles and metal prints derived from her sketchbook India ink designs created in 2020 and 2021. Presented in the form of digitized patterns output into woven blankets, the textiles address what it means to seek comfort during the isolation of the Covid-19 pandemic. Harrison’s art often centers on people’s notions of comfort and security; previously, her work has explored personal flotation devices as metaphors for how people stay psychologically afloat.

“Line, shape, color and value and overlapping repetition and pattern are what I work with. My creative journey, especially during the Covid pandemic has been inward, navigating my unconscious, my troubles, my joy with line and color. Digitizing my hands-on work to create patterns that can be woven into textiles has enabled me to create literal comfort while I seek comfort.”

 

Gretchen Durst Jacobs is a painter and printmaker from Dayton, Ohio, where she lives and works. She often summers at a lake house in Ontario, Canada, minutes from Lake Huron. Her artistic vision stems from a deep reverence for the natural world, and from the places she calls home. She received a BFA from Wright State University and an MFA from the University of Cincinnati. She attended two summer semesters at the New York Studio School. As adjunct faculty, she has taught drawing, painting, and color theory. She attended an artist residency in Dresden, Germany, in 2018. She is President of The Dayton Printmakers Cooperative, and in 2016, she completed a commission that is installed in the Dayton Library.

“From my earliest roots, I came to learn by observing my musician parents. I also inherited from them a connection with the outdoors. The influence of those lessons can be strongly felt and found throughout all of my work. By turning inward and accessing a felt sense, a direct correlation occurs between my intuition and from remembered experiences of the natural world. I experiment with intense focus on the mark, composition and my muses; the forest and thickets.”

 

Matt Eckerle is a local high school art teacher as well as a working artist. Though he is interested in his finished pieces, he primarily focuses on the process of making art. He loves to experiment with different approaches to the art-making process, and he loves to fail because that’s when he learns the most.

A consistent theme in his Pulse series is the abstract interpretation of a pulse shown by little strips of colored paper, cut and laid in a row. Each strip of paper represents a person’s pulse or life event and how integral each pulse and event is in making up a person’s life. If one strip of paper was taken away, the piece would be incomplete, much like if you were to take away a pulse or an event in a person’s life. No matter how amazing or mundane, the person’s life would be incomplete.

 

 

Multiple pieces in this exhibition are for sale. If you are interested in seeing our most recently scanned exhibition Queen City Visual Narrative virtually, click here. If you are interested in purchasing any artwork from the show, please contact us at art@1628ltd.com.”

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