“It Figures” featured in Artscope Newsletter

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.