LAYR is pleased to present an exhibition by the American artist Gaylen Gerber which features his early Untitled paintings exhibited with his more recent Support paintings.
In the mid and late 1980s and early 1990s, Gerber made uniformly sized square canvases that contain almost imperceptible still life paintings painted in three values of gray on gray grounds. The longer one looks, the more the underlying image conditionally emerges. Untitled, and undated, these paintings can seem like flat or closed surfaces, but they are not only unexpectedly nuanced but also inclusive, continuous, and assert their place in the present.
In combination with the early Untitled paintings, Gerber exhibits a number of more recent Support paintings, in this case – oil paint over 19th and 20th century marble and bronze sculptures, artifacts, and oil paintings by other makers. In doing so he underscores many of the archetypes and motifs that populate our unconscious, often with profound implications. For example, Support, n.d., builds on a lush 19th century painting of a floral still life after the Dutch artist Jan van Huysum, who, in his work, insisted on closely scrutinizing the world around him. Gerber’s work expresses a similar critical observation of our surroundings and his concealment of one surface conveys an unexpected fluidity with what in turn another reveals.
Gerber has exhibited widely including surveys of his work at the Arts Club of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois (2018); the Museé d’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean, Luxembourg (2006); and The Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois (1992); monographic and cooperative projects include Oslobiennalen 2019-2024, Oslo, Norway; Kunsthaus Bregenz, Bregenz, Austria (2016); Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, New York (2014); The Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, Illinois (2013); Museé des Beaux-Arts, Dijon, France (2005); The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois (2002); Kunstverein Munich, Munich, Germany (1996); Documenta IX, Kassel, Germany (1992).