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 Daniel F. (Dan) Gerhartz  (1965 - )

About: Daniel F. (Dan) Gerhartz
 

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Lived/Active: Wisconsin/Illinois      Known for: figure, portrait, genre and landscape painting

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BIOGRAPHY for Daniel Gerhartz
Facts/Data
Birth
1965 (Kewaskum, Wisconsin)
 
Lived/Active
Wisconsin/Illinois




Often Known For
figure, portrait, genre and landscape painting

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Biography from InSight Gallery:
Born in 1965 in Kewaskum, Wisconsin, where he now lives with his wife Jennifer, and their young children, Dan's interest in art emerged as a teenager. Studies at the American Academy of Art in Chicago, Illinois and his voracious appetite for museums and the modern masters such as John Singer Sargent, Alphonse Mucha, Nicolai Fechin, Joaquin Sorolla, Carl von Marr as well as a host of other French and American impressionists have inspired him.

Dan has a particular interest and appreciation for modern Russian art and the sumptuous canvases of the painters Nicolai Fechin, Isaac Levitan and Ilya Repin.  As Dan says, their paintings are "completely loose yet deliberate and faithful, not at all flashy."

Indeed, the powerful and evocative beauty of Gerhartz's paintings are also due in large measure to looseness, honesty and faithfulness of his style.  Dan's paintings embrace a range of subjects, most prominently the female figure in either a pastoral setting or an intimate interior.  He is at his best with subjects from everyday life, genre subjects, sacred-idyllic landscapes or figures in quiet repose, meditation or contemplative isolation.

His mastery of the female figure, the clothed figure especially, is brilliant.  He has drawn inspiration from the very old tradition of romanticism and symbolism. His absolutely lavish surfaces, color and lighting are in harmony with his expressionistic brushstroke, application and modeling of light and shade.

His paintings are sensitive yet evocative creations, which dramatize his bold and ambitious technique.  He is at his very best when he allows himself to explore the surface in a free and painterly manner, while retaining his sense of other worldliness.

His subjects evoke a timelessness and idealism, yet for the most part Dan has drawn upon his home and community in Wisconsin, including family and friends.  His sense of intimacy and honesty with regard to his subjects are a direct result of his closeness and proximity to them.  A projection of tranquility, repose and rich introspection result from his knowledge of the content of his art.

In Gerhartz's pictures the ordinary or commonplace is transformed into a higher reality and consequently a sense of greater importance.  Emotions are a vital part of his express design, while his mastery of anatomy, the human form and complex surfaces combine to make his canvases very powerful visual experiences.

About his work Dan has said, "My desire as an artist is that the images I paint would point to the Creator, and not to me, the conveyor. J.S. Bach said it well as he signed his work, 'Soli Deo Gloria,' To God alone be the glory."

J. Brooks Joyner

Biography from Meyer Gallery:
Honesty is the vein that runs through the life and art of Dan Gerhartz. This integrity, combined with his driving work ethic and impeccable technique, have brought him a degree of success that artists twice his age would envy.

Born in 1965, Gerhartz grew up in rural Wisconsin, an area he continues to call home. The unspoiled beauty of the nearby Kettle Moraine State Forest was his playground as a child and provides inspiration for many of his paintings today. "I've been really lucky," he says. "I can paint what I want to paint. The area around here is so beautiful, with its rolling hills, deciduous forests, and prairies. I love to place a figure against that landscape."

Gerhartz credits an inspirational high school art instructor, John Baitinger, for helping shape his artistic direction. "He guided me through my formative years when I didn't know where I wanted to go with my art. But I already knew it was going to be a very important part of my life." He continued his studies at the American Academy of Art in Chicago, where he was awarded the Faculty Recommendation Scholarship and the President's Award in 1985. Later, artist Richard Schmidt was important in Gerhartz' career through sharing his knowledge and skill.

Despite his remarkable early success, Dan Gerhartz is determined to keep growing. "This is just the beginning," he says. "All I have to do is open a book with the work of the masters. Their technical ability is just so humbling. Painting is a never-ending learning process. I look forward to learning my entire life." To this end, he spends a great deal of time studying the work of artists who inspire him, including John Singer Sargent, Alphonse Mucha, and the French and American Impressionists. Particularly important have been Russian artists, especially Nicolai Fechin. "The Russians are so loose, but so honest," he explains.

Dan is quick to credit his wife Jennifer, whom he married in 1988, for her emotional support and objective critique. "She was a physical therapist, and knows anatomy and muscle structure better than myself. She can catch flaws I would never see." Their son Nicolai was born in 1992.

Dan Gerhartz' brilliant use of light and color has earned him numerous awards in his young career. His work has been featured in invitational exhibitions, including the Prix de West and the Artists of America exhibitions, as well as in public and private collections nationwide. He has taught workshops at the Scottsdale Artists' School and the Fechin Institute in Taos. "I always try to paint from the heart," he says. "Every day I thank God for the opportunity to do this."


Biography from Cutter & Cutter Fine Art Galleries:

Born in 1965 in Kewaskum, Wisconsin, where he now lives with his wife Jennifer, and their young children, Dan's interest in art emerged as a teenager. Studies at the American Academy of Art in Chicago, Illinois and his voracious appetite for museums and the modern masters such as John Singer Sargent, Alphonse Mucha, Nicolai Fechin, Joaquin Sorolla, Carl von Marr as well as a host of other French and American impressionists have inspired him. Dan has a particular interest and appreciation for modern Russian art and the sumptuous canvases of the painters Nicolai Fechin, Isaac Levitan and Ilya Repin. As Dan says, their paintings are "completely loose yet deliberate and faithful, not at all flashy. My desire as an artist is that the images I paint would point to the Creator, and not to me, the conveyor. J.S. Bach said it well as he signed his work, Soli Deo Gloria, To God alone be the glory." Indeed, the powerful and evocative beauty of Gerhartzs paintings is also due in large measure to looseness, honesty and faithfulness of his style. Dan's paintings embrace a range of subjects, most prominently the female figure in either a pastoral setting or an intimate interior. He is at his best with subjects from everyday life, genre subjects, sacred-idyllic landscapes or figures in quiet repose, meditation or contemplative isolation.

His mastery of the female figure, the clothed figure especially, is brilliant. He has drawn inspiration from the very old tradition of romanticism and symbolism. His absolutely lavish surfaces, color and lighting are in harmony with his expressionistic brushstroke, application and modeling of light and shade. His paintings are sensitive yet evocative creations, which dramatize his bold and ambitious technique. He is at his very best when he allows himself to explore the surface in a free and painterly manner, while retaining his sense of other worldliness. His subjects evoke a timelessness and idealism, yet for the most part Dan has drawn upon his home and community in Wisconsin, including family and friends. His sense of intimacy and honesty with regard to his subjects are a direct result of his closeness and proximity to them. A projection of tranquility, repose and rich introspection result from his knowledge of the content of his art. In Gerhartz's pictures the ordinary or commonplace is transformed into a higher reality and consequently a sense of greater importance. Emotions are a vital part of his express design, while his mastery of anatomy, the human form and complex surfaces combine to make his canvases very powerful visual experiences.

Biography from Altermann Galleries and Auctioneers, II:
Daniel F. Gerhartz was born in 1965 in Wisconsin, where he now lives with his wife, Jennifer, and their four young children.  His interest in art peaked at an early age when a teenage friend suggested they spend a dreary afternoon drawing.  It was then that he discovered his life’s work.

Gerhartz began his art education at the American Academy of Art in Chicago where he studied in the classical tradition and immersed himself in applications of technique and design. After a brief stint in commercial art, he began pursuing fine art, visiting museums to study master works and painting alongside contemporary artists. Gerhartz found his passion in painting from life. This direct approach to working with the figure and landscape allowed him to see and attempt to capture the infinite nuances of light, color, and form. This continues to drive his enthusiasm today. Since then, he has been featured in solo and group shows across the country, has won several awards at prominent national invitational exhibitions, and his work has been collected both nationally and internationally.

Gerhartz’s skillful and technically adept work celebrates the created world, the human form, and personal relationships, with a connection to landscapes and environments of special importance. Many of his figures are dressed in dramatic clothing that he often invents for its aesthetic appeal and lyrical quality so as to achieve a sense of otherworldliness. His subjects evoke a timelessness and idealism, yet for the most part Gerhartz has drawn upon his home and community, including family and friends, for subject matter. His sense of intimacy and honesty with regard to his subjects is a direct result of his closeness and proximity to them. A projection of tranquility, repose, and rich introspection results from his knowledge of the content of his art.

Emotions are a vital part of his express design, while his mastery of anatomy, the human form, and complex surfaces combine to make his canvases very powerful visual experiences.

Source: Masters of the West Show, Autry National Center, Los Angeles, CA

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