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 Ron Ehrlich  (20/21st century)

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Lived/Active: New York      Known for: minimalism, mix media abstract paintings

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Biography from LewAllen Galleries:
Ron Ehrlich’s paintings combine American action painting with the Japanese aesthetic of wood-fired Bizen ceramics.  His application methods include throwing, pouring, brushing, scumbling and glazing. To achieve his surfaces, some glistening and others matte, he mixes recipes of oil, wax, lacquer, shellac, porcelain dust, and marble dust; and then turns a blowtorch on some areas to fuse the materials into a lustrous glazed finish.  The goal is to have resulting canvases, with their dense layers of oil paint and other media, that are simultaneously energetic and tranquil.

Ehrlich’s palette leans toward water hues and earth tones: ultramarine, turquoise, peacock and sky blue; greens ranging from muted moss to sparkling emerald; sunny yellows, ochre, ivory, terracotta, and chalky white; the deep tones of rich soil.  Broad horizontal bands of color in the under layers of his paintings are also suggestive of landscapes.  The general impression, though, is of heavily textured, densely layered action painting.  Often he creates an all-over grid-like texture with many thin vertical drips of color running down the canvas over thickly painted horizontal blocks in the under layers.

Ehrlich received his BFA from Connecticut College in 1976.  Several years later, he traveled to Japan where he lived in a monastery and studied classical pottery making for five years.  On his return to the U.S., he studied at the Kansas City Art Institute for two years, and then the Rhode Island School of Design for another two years.

Since 1985, he has had more than 30 solo exhibitions and numerous group shows in cities including Boston, New York, Atlanta and Seattle.  In 1999, he was selected for Outward Bound: American Art on the Brink of the 21st Century, which presented the work of 100 American artists in an exhibition that traveled to major venues in China, Southeast Asia and the Pacific Rim, including museums in Beijing, Shanghai, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Jakarta, Singapore and Manila. He was also invited to participate in an exhibition of Korean and American painting at the Art Museum of the Sejong Center for Performing Arts in Seoul, Korea, in 2005.

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