“Rick Berry did four paintings throughout the afternoon in his unplanned improv method — scribbling with the paint and lifting highlights until he found direction in the act of painting. Rick, as usual, was as inspiring as a speaker as he was a painter.” Irene Gallo writing about ART OUT LOUD 7 at Museum of American Illustration, Sept 24, 2011.
See full story and photos at TOR about this Benefit for Student Scholarships sponsored by Society of Illustrators. Click facebook button on right for photos of Rick painting, courtesy of Melannie Montenegro, Album – Sept 24, 2011
Emotion, Time and Eros in the work of Damon Lehrer and Rick Berry
Review by Grace Dan Mazur in today’s The Arts Fuse : Culture of New England
Comparing Rick Berry’s expressionist paintings with Damon Lehrer’s exquisitely rendered, classical, and contemplative work made me wonder about the expressionist style in general. By this I mean that artistic terrain where the passions, vehemence, or ferocity of the artist so colors the work as to form a powerful but distorting more…
This show brilliantly contrasts two artists, Damon Lehrer and Rick Berry, and the wildly different ways they approach figurative painting.
(For the questions that the artists have for each other see Damon Lehrer’s interview of Rick Berry.)
It Figures. At the William Scott Gallery, 450 Harrison Avenue, #65, Boston, MA. Until September 30
IT FIGURES: Damon Lehrer and Rick Berry opened this weekend and was a great success. A lovely cool September evening in Boston – hundreds of people walking about SoWa Art District touring the open galleries during this festive monthly event. The Willam Scott Gallery was packed for 3 hours. Didn’t have a camera but some pictures by friends (Robert Wiener, Scott Bakal) near closing when crowd had thinned enough to see some more art. Thanks to everyone who came by Friday – you made it such an enjoyable evening.
If you’re in the Boston area, we hope you’ll have a chance to stop by. Open through Sept 3oth.
William Scott Gallery, 450 Harrison Ave hours: Wed – Sat 12-5 and Sun 12-4. (617)542-4040 Parking accessed by Albany St./ Silver line along Washington St. or longer walk from Broadway Station, Red Line or Back Bay Commuter Rail
Rick is finishing up packaging paintings for delivery today - open truck, pouring rain, busy making custom vault-like packaging…
IT FIGURES: Damon Lehrer and Rick Berry opens tomorrow, Sept. 9, 6-9pm William Scott Gallery, Boston.
Check gallery hours if you’ll be in Boston anytime between now and Halloween because immediately following IT FIGURES, Damon and Rick have work in (as well as curated) October’s group exhibition to open at William Scott Gallery on Oct 7th.
Rick’s previewing some work from his newest series at IT FIGURES, along with other great paintings. Amanda Palmer fans will be interested to see Rick’s 7ft portrait of her as gender bending MC in last summer’s A.R.T. production of Cabaret – On loan from collector. Hope you can stop by!
“No Metal Men” oil on prepared cotton ragboard, 20x32in
“Gregor” oil on prepared cotton ragboard, 20x32in.
Dorothy by Damon Lehrer, 38" x 40".
From ArtScope Magazine Sept 1, 2011
Attention New England: figurative artwork is not a “has been.” In fact, figurative art is on the rise and if you as an artist can convey figures, there isn’t much you aren’t able to do. We say this because as humans, we are wired to think and see figuratively. It is from this frontier of figures that we can move on to apply the imagination and other elements that evolve figurative artwork into other things. Bottom line: you can’t abandon figurative art. Two artists that will agree with us on this topic are Boston based figurative painters Damon Lehrer and Rick Berry. In an interview together, Rick Berry says, “We will never not want to see figures. We will never lose the ability to spot things in figurative light.” He likens this to cloud-gazing children and the figures they are able to point out. Almost all art starts with the human figure because our minds are designed to see things in the human form. From this concrete state, abstractions and imaginations can be applied to the things we manifest in human form to develop them beyond the figure. In their show, It Figures, Berry and Lehrer remind us of the possibilities of figurative painting. Lehrer‘s precise and perverted baroque style contrasts with Berry‘s refined brutalism and generation of bodies under strain in the most compelling way.
Rick Berry, a painter who rarely works with external references, started his career at the age of seventeen in underground comics. He worked his way into popular culture with art for Marvel and DC comics and has even been commissioned by authors like Stephen King and Neil Gaiman for his illustrations. Damon Lehrer received his MFA from Boston University and has his work in numerous prestigious collections. Lehrer has also founded the collective known as the Boston Figurative Art Center with the mission to promote figure painting in its many incarnations as a primary focus for contemporary art in Boston and beyond. It Figures will be showing at the William Scott Gallery in Boston from Friday, September 9th through Friday, September 30th. An opening reception will be held on September 9th from 6-9pm.
Immediately following It Figures, William Scott Gallery will host a group exhibition for the month of October in which Berry and Lehrer invite selected nationally and internationally known figure painters, many with Boston connections, into the image-driven conversation. Artists include Phil Hale, Anne Harris, Ken Beck, Bill Carman, Ed Stitt, Paul Goodnight, Jim Burke, George Pratt, Scott Bakal and others.