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 Gayle Blair Tate  (1944 - )

About: Gayle Blair Tate


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Lived/Active: Wyoming/Florida      Known for: trompe l'oeil still life painting

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Gayle Blair Tate is a native of Midwest America, born in Abilene, Texas and raised as a world traveler, being the son of a career army officer.  He studied engineering at the University of Wyoming from 1962 to 1964, then graduated from Florida State University in 1967.  He then served in the United States Air Force for five years as a commissioned officer, being honorably discharged in 1972 with the rank of Captain. Desiring to go into studio production, he pursued extensive private studies at the Loch Haven Art Center in Orlando and with private ateliers in Orlando, Tampa, Asheville, North Carolina and Laramie, Wyoming.  Even while serving in the Air Force, Mr. Tate began working in the art business, establishing his first gallery in Texas in 1967.

Mr. Tate is known as a trompe l'oeil painter in oils.  His signature works are images of paper currency as well as paintings with ironic observations and themes.

The Artist writes: "Trompe l'oeil is a French phrase meaning 'trick the eye'.  Sometimes art provides the trick... changing the perception of pigments applied to a surface to a different reality.  All of art is about perception, and my paintings are all about deceiving the eye to perceive another reality.  The Victorians had a hazy, romanticized view of life.  The early moderns embodied a revolution against traditions.  American artists, despite roots from diverse backgrounds, have corroborated to draw together a view of art that is characterized by the same pioneering spirit it took to tame a rugged and uncharted land.  The American character is raw to the bone.  From early in its history, America had no time for frivolity.  She demanded truth up front, she demanded integrity; and in the face of constant challenge, anything less was a waste of time.  Any vision that was not born out of passion could not last in such a land; tradition has given way to character.  American painters have always depicted real places and real things in real terms.  They have always worked with a vigorous energy that matches the splendor of the land.  We have been given a responsibility as creative artists to bring this fresh viewpoint to an often drab and uninspired world.  I, as any artist with such roots, am dedicated to developing a reflection this character, our uniquely American roots."

"We all need to keep our visions fresh. This is especially important for artists. It is not easy to keep creative juices flowing day after day, when we get bogged down in the "dailies" of life.  The premises for the Trompe L'Oeil Society, with which I am affiliated, have stemmed from this need to challenge artists to look at the familiar with fresh eyes, and to be provoked to think with new perspectives.  As we in the Society take up the challenge, we have grown as artists... thus being constructive in provoking artists to do better and always be proactive in exercising artistic vision."

Mr. Tate continues a regular study of his craft, particularly of the dynamics of color relationships, often working in diverse subject matter.  By working in other venues, the artist hopes to become better equipped to understand the dynamics of color in his trompe l'oeil paintings and to be able to present his enthusiastic world view with excellence and taste.  His refined classical techniques and craftsmanship transcend both old and new eras of art history, and his goal is to have a place in the defining of an American national style.

What current art publications are saying about the artist and his work:

(About the painting, "I Make My Own Luck", Oil on panel, 16 X 26")... "Tate is a show-off, in a good way.  He brings off painting a torn scrap of paper attached to the cupboard with transparent tape, and his $20, $50 and $100 bills are a counterfeiter's delight." (Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Sunday, September 28, 2003)

"Faded Glory" (Oil on Panel, 30 X 45") by Gayle B. Tate is a classic example of American trompe l'oeil painting, which reached its apotheosis with nineteenth century practitioners such as William Harnett, John Peto and John Haberle. Faded Glory recapitulates the essential iconography of this tradition..." (American Arts Quarterly, Vol 20 No.1, Winter 2003)

"...His technical mastery succeeds not just when he can recreate the tiny engraved lines of currency, but when the viewer believes that the surface is actually three dimensional, with its wrinkles, folds and shadows." (American Art Review magazine, Vol XV No.2, April 2003)

"Trompe l'oeil technique is exacting, requiring great skill and talent. G.B. Tate, a master of money painting..." (Numismatist magazine, Vol 116, No. 4, April 2003)


Who's Who in American Art
Internationale Biographie
Biographical Encyclopedia of American Painters, Sculptors & Engravers
Men of Achievement
New York Art Review
American Artists, An Illustrated Survey
Collections, Galleries and Museums Include:
Vose Gallery, Boston
Spanierman Gallery, New York
Richard York Gallery, New York
Hollis Taggert, New York
Eleanor Ettinger Gallery, New York
Creighton-Davis Galleries, Washington DC
Atlanta Art Gallery, Atlanta
David Cook Gallery, Denver
Roughton Galleries, Dallas
Hall Galleries, Dallas
Van de Griff-Marr Gallery, Santa Fe
Leigh Yawkey Woodson Museum, Wausau, WI


Charter member of Trompe L'oeil Society of Artists, 2001 - 2003
American Numismatic Association
"The Seven", Alliance of Christian Artists, Asheville, NC
Southeast Professional Art Dealers' Association, Tampa

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Gayle Tate is also mentioned in these AskART essays:
Trompe l'Oeil Painting

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