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 Christopher S. Gerlach  (1952 - )

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Lived/Active: California/Massachusetts      Known for: landscape, coastals, painterly realism

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Christopher S Gerlach
An example of work by Christopher S. Gerlach
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
The following is submitted March 2004 by the artist Christopher S. Gerlach, M.A. C.F.A. Oxon. He lives in Pagosa Springs, CO.

Christopher Gerlach has been a practicing landscape painter and artist for thirty years, in the United States and Europe. He received formal training in academic draughtsmanship, life painting, and medical anatomy at the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art, at Oxford University. He received an award from the Royal Academy in London, and was appointed Murray Landscape Scholar to Oxford University in 1979. He also received a Masters of Fine Art from San Diego State University.

Gerlach was committed to a revival of realism in the tradition of the Impressionist and Painterly Realist schools of France and turn-of-the-century America and Britain. He worked to study and master the techniques utilized by Monet, Sargent, Winslow Homer, Hassam, Robinson, and others. He revived working in situ, in the landscape in the plein-air method. He was the first plein-air artist to paint in the restored gardens of Claude Monet at Giverny, in 1981 through the generosity of the Versailles Foundation.

He began his career exhibiting at the William Sawyer Gallery in San Francisco and lived there, and then in Santa Fe, in Santa Barbara, in Arizona, and finally in Southwestern Colorado, in Pagosa Springs. He exhibited widely in the United States, in New York, and a number of other galleries. His work is derived from the French Impressionists and the American Impressionists, and is called Painterly Realism. He
was one of the first modern realists to work to revive the force and integrity of realism in painting, after it was long eclipsed by abstraction.

He works both from life, in the form called "en plein air" and in the studio. His work varies in size from small intimate easel sized works, to very large installations. His palette, and choice of colors are bright, and focused on light, and a sense of time, place and atmosphere. His paintings are intended to evoke a cheerful, optimistic mood, a joy of life and of living and to bring to the viewer both the beauty of the natural world, and also the poignancy of some of the most compelling and colorful regions, France, the tropics, the high country of Colorado, and the sunny coasts of California.

His paintings hang in museums and public collections, including the San Diego Museum of Art, the Oakland Museum of California and Buckingham Palace, and in many other public and private collections.

Gerlach feels that artists have a social responsibility as well as an aesthetic one. He has been active in research for the improvement of social conditions, ecology, and support work for battered women and abused children. He works to support cultural preservation and revival for indigenous peoples in the USA and abroad. He has worked in government and community and urban planning.

He does research and field work in Ecology, Forestry, Hydrology, and Integrative psychology, and is the author of a number of works on social and environmental issues, including ecology, indigenous culture and sovereignty, psychology, treatment of emotional stress and trauma, integrative and health. He works as a publisher, a researcher, a consultant on ethics and development in community planning, social issues, and is a publishing consultant, and advisor to a variety of private and community organizations.

He also works in support of advocacy for the Fine Arts in the United States and in Europe, and has a continuing interest in preserving and maintaining the highest standards in teaching and education in both the practice of the creative arts and in art history and the preservation of artistic and architectural history.

Undergraduate: Lake Forest College
San Diego State University
University of California Berkeley, B.A., 1974
Graduate: University of San Diego, Oxford Program, 1975
San Diego State University M.A. Fine Art, 1977
Oxford University, Ruskin School of Drawing, C.F.A. (M.A.), 1979

Bank of America Award, 1968
Egerton Coghill Landscape Scholarship, Oxford University, 1979
Murray Landscape Scholar, Royal Academy, London, 1979
Elected Fellow of North American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 2002

Beginning Drawing, San Diego State University, 1975
Advanced Drawing/Life Drawing, San Diego State University, 1976
Painting in Europe: France, Italy and Greece: Lecture, Santa Barbara, 1988
Plein Air Landscape Painting Seminar, Santa Barbara, 1989
Advanced Landscape Painting Seminar and Workshop, Santa Barbara, 1990
Training as an Artist in Europe: Lecture, Santa Barbara, 1989
Plein Air Landscape :Painting Seminar, San Diego, 1991

1976 "Paintings from England and California." California State University, San Diego
1977 "Landscapes from England, Venice, and California." California State University, San Diego.
1978 "Views of Oxford," Trinity College, Oxford University, Oxford, England
1979 "Paintings from England, France and Greece," Trinity College, Oxford University
1980 "Landscapes of California and Europe," William Sawyer Gallery, San Francisco
1981 "Paintings from Giverny," William Sawyer Gallery, San Francisco
1982 "Images of the Southwest," William Sawyer Gallery, San Francisco
"Paintings from the Southwest," Jamison Gallery, Santa Fe, New Mexico
1984 "Recent Paintings," William Sawyer Gallery, San Francisco
1985 "Recent Paintings," Fischbach Gallery, New York
"Recent California Paintings," Orr's Gallery, San Diego, California
1987 "Recent Paintings," Fischbach Gallery, New York
1988 "The Cote d'Azur," William Sawyer Gallery, San Francisco, California
1990 "Paintings of Portugal and California," Orr's Gallery, San Diego
"Recent Paintings," Fischbach Gallery, New York.
"Recent Paintings," Mackenzie Gallery, Seattle, Washington
"Paintings of California and France," William Sawyer Gallery, San Francisco
"Paintings of Santa Barbara and Elsewhere," Easton Gallery, Montecito, CA
1992 "Christopher Gerlach," Fountain Hills Community Center, Fountain Hills, AZ
"California, Europe and Places In Between; Paintings by Christopher Gerlach", Retrospective Exhibition at Pepperdine University, Malibu, California.

1979 " The Group of Four," San Diego State University, San Diego
1979 "California Artists," Mesa College, San Diego
"Diploma Exhibition," Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art, Oxford University
1981 "Landscape Painting," William Sawyer Gallery, San Francisco
"Inspired by Landscape," Tranamerica Corporation, San Francisco and Los Angeles
1983 "Exhibition II," Fine Arts Museum of San Antonio, Texas
1985 "American Realism," William Sawyer Gallery, San Francisco
"Important American Paintings," Orr's Gallery, San Diego
"Contemporary Art for Your Collection," La Jolla Museum of Contemporary Art La Jolla, California
1986 "The Contemporary American Landscape," Swain Galleries, Plainfield, NJ
1987-88 "Art and the Law," Traveling Exhibition: Albrecht Art Museum, St Joseph Missouri: The Lowe Gallery at Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York; the Bass Museum, Miami, Florida, and the Minnesota Museum of Art, St. Paul, Minnesota, organized by the West Publishing Company.
1988 "Utopian Visions," organized by the Art Advisory Service of the Museum of Modern Art for Gannet Company, New York.
1989-90 "Documenting a Moment: Contemporary Plein Air Landscape," Tatistcheff Gallery, Inc. Santa Monica, California
1988 "American Beach Paintings," Tampa Museum, Tampa, Florida.

San Diego Museum of Fine Art, San Diego
Oakland Museum of California
Balliol College, Oxford University
Pepperdine University, Malibu
Queen Elizabeth II, Buckingham Palace, London
H. M. King Faisal, Royal Palace, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Lord and Lady Blake, Queen's College, Oxford University
The Ritz Carlton Hotel, Laguna Niguel
Trinity College, Oxford University
American Express
Amoco Production Co, Houston
American Telephone and Telegraph Company, New York
Bank of America, San Francisco
E. J. Heinz Company, Pittsburgh
Gibson, Dunn and Crutcher, Los Angeles
Hertz Corporation
Pittsburgh Glass and Steel, Pittsburgh
U. S. Tobacco Company
U. S. Insurance Group, Morristown, N. J.
Tennoco Oil Company, Houston
Bank of Tokyo, London
Pepsico, Inc., Purchase, New York
Pepsi Cola, Somers, New York
Hart Hanks Communications, El Paso, Texas
Kent, Smith, Duncan and Hammond, El Paso
Young, Cook, Piffer and Hampton, Houston
Victoria Bank and Trust, Houston
Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock, Norfolk, Virginia
Hughes Aircraft, Los Angeles
Southwestern Bell Corporation
Larry and Maj Hagman, Ojai
Ivanna Trump, New York
Paige Rense, Rincon Point
Lord and Lady Blake, Queen's College, Oxford
Victor Montagu, Earl of Sandwich
John and Stevie McGowan, Santa Barbara
Bob and Chris Emmons, Montecito
John and Sharkey Fink, Montecito
George and Donovan Fields, Malibu
Paul and Georgina Erskine, Pasadena
Roberto and Suzanne Bessin, Providence
Proctor Jones, San Francisco
Dick and Lois Ellis, Santa Fe
John Midyette, Santa Fe
Ken and Sally Mackenzie, Lawreence
Dr. Ken Breeding, Encinitas
Richard and Polly Vaughan
Harry and Maggie Wetzel, San Francisco
NYNEX, New York
Cloverly Investors
Intermedica, Houston
West Publishing Company, St. Paul, Minnesota
Reader's Digest, New York

and approx 900 private collections in the United States, Europe, and Asia,


Catalog of the Permanent Collections, San Diego Museum of Art, 1979 illus.

Review, San Francisco Chronicle, D. Albright, "Landscapes that Dazzle the Eye", Nov 29, 1980.

San Diego Home and Garden Magazine: Peter Jensen: "The Dazzling Light: Artist Christopher Gerlach searches for it in the open air: from San Diego beaches and back roads to the gardens of Giverny" October 1985, p. 76-77, 92.

Diversion Magazine: Venice: Paintings by Christopher Gerlach, September 1987, p.172-176.

Ranch and Coast Magazine: Jan Jennings: " A World in Oils," April 1990, p. 53-55.

The Times of Fountain Hills, Impressionist Gerlach has painting exhibit. March 4, 1992, p. A-1.

Beginning Drawing & Advanced Drawing: Composition, Technique, Perception and Conceptualization, Creativity Theory, Cognitive Process and Visual Intelligence, Life Drawing and Academic Draughtsmanship,
Beginning Painting

All Media, Advanced Painting: Oils, Acrylic, Gouache, Watercolour, Tempra, Sumi Plein Air Landscape Painting, Studio Technique, Conservation, Colour Theory Computer Generation of Fine Art: New Media and Theory
Illustration and Book Design
Book Publishing: All Aspects: Design, Typography, Pre-Press, Fulfillment.
Art History: Ancient, Medieval, Renaissance, Academic, Impressionism, Modern, Japanese, Architecture, English Country House, Classical Garden Design, American Painting, especially American Impressionists, John Singer Sargent, Winslow Homer.
Stained Glass
Photography: Field Photography, Landscape Photography, Darkroom Tech, Printing
Computer Design: Photoshop, Quark, Pagemaker, Word, Publisher: PC and Mac.

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