A Love of Crushed Pigment and Hard Work: Eric Dever (MA ’88) on His Artistic Process
January 22, 2019 - NYU | Steinhardt News
Eric Dever (MA ’88) is a painter who graduated from NYU Steinhardt’s studio art program.
His paintings are part of notable public collections at the Parrish Art Museum, Grey Art Gallery-New York University Art Collection, Guild Hall, East Hampton, New York, and Centre d’Art et de Culture, Saint Just de Bellengard, France. He was in the permanent collection exhibition, Parrish Perspectives: Art in Context at the Parrish Art Museum, Water Mill, New York, and on display at the Hudson River Museum in Yonkers, New York. Current exhibitions include the U.S. Consulate General Hong Kong, and Macau, Art in Embassies, Department of State exhibition.
Eric Dever: Painting in a House Made of Air is on view this month at Berry Campbell Gallery in New York City. The exhibit features a new body of brilliantly hued, large-scale paintings, which emerged when Dever was planting a garden at his Water Mill, New York, studio.
We spoke to him about his artistic process.
You paint in New York City and the East End of Long Island. How do these locales influence your work?
My painting during graduate school, 1986-88, was influenced by urban landscape and physical forms of civilization. New to town from Los Angeles, I spent a lot of time in museums and was fascinated walking around the city and boroughs. My paintings were often elegiac; the AIDS crisis concerned everyone. The city was very exciting, one had the sense that anything could happen, and each day held life changing possibilities.
Since 2003, I have worked on the East End of Long Island. It is always exciting to move to a new place and my paintings reflected this change. I began with sampled color from a new landscape, but soon moved towards a more personal experience which space and contemplation seemed to permit.
Working with just white paint for four years gave me a heightened awareness of my material. Canvas, linen, paint media—painting itself became the subject of my work. The addition of black and red corresponded over time with an increasing awareness of the subtle qualities of ‘Clarity, Passion and Dark Inertia’ (exhibition NYU Kimmel Galleries, 2015), or the 3 gunas, a key aspect of yogic studies, and a means of interpreting nature itself.Read More >>