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Artists on Art: Eric Aho in Conversation with Will Coleman

June 12 @ 1:00 pm 2:00 pm

Eric Aho (born 1966), Ice Cut (Violet Kennebec), 2022
Oil on linen, 80 x 90 inches
Museum Purchase, Lynne Drexler Acquisition Fund, 2022.28
© Eric Aho / Image courtesy of the Artist and DC Moore Gallery, New York / Photography by Rachel Portesi

Please join us for the next installment of our Artists on Art series, featuring Eric Aho in conversation with Will Coleman. Aho’s insightful essay for the catalogue of the current Farnsworth exhibition Abstract Flash: Unseen Andrew Wyeth is a jumping off point for this illustrated dialogue about abstraction, realism, and the blurry line between them. Through the lens of this exciting contemporary artist’s practice, including the recent Farnsworth acquisition Ice Cut (Violet Kennebec) (2022), Aho and Coleman will discuss how abstraction was useful to Andrew Wyeth, and how the insights of this exhibition connect Wyeth to other artists, past and present.

Eric Aho (b. 1966, Melrose, MA) is an American painter whose ever-evolving work responds to the physical immensity, mystery, and intimacy of the natural world. Aho has been called “One of the leading painters of landscape and the environment of his generation.” Since his earliest projects Aho has joined historical research, personal inquiry, and a close reading of the landscape to reinvigorate what it means to paint from nature today. Aho’s painting will be the subject of a forthcoming monograph (2025) published by Rizzoli.

Aho studied at the Central Saint Martins School of Art and Design in London, England and received a BFA from the Massachusetts College of Art in Boston. In 1989, he participated in the first exchange of scholars in over thirty years between the U.S. and Cuba. He completed his graduate work at the Lahti Art Institute in Finland supported by a Fulbright Fellowship in 1991-92 and an American-Scandinavian Foundation grant in 1993. It was in the stark northern terrain of the Norwegian Arctic, Western Russia, and his ancestral Finland where Aho first responded to the impulses of landscape induced memory that continues to inform his work.

His works are held in the permanent collections of the Buffalo AKG Art Museum, NY; Currier Museum of Art, Manchester, NH; Denver Art Museum, CO; Farnsworth Art Museum, Rockland, ME; Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, CA; Hood Museum of Art, Hanover, NH; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA; The Neuberger Museum of Art, SUNY, NY; New Britain Museum of American Art, CT; Oulu Museum of Art, Finland; and Shoji Art Museum, Numazu, Japan among others.

Aho was elected National Academician of the National Academy Museum in 2009. He lives and works in Saxtons River, Vermont and visits the coast of Maine each summer.

William L. Coleman, PhD is Wyeth Foundation Curator and Director of the Andrew & Betsy Wyeth Study Center, with locations at the Farnsworth and at the Brandywine Museum of Art in Pennsylvania. He curates, writes, and teaches on the art of the United States, with a particular research focus on landscape painting’s histories. Coleman was previously Director of Collections & Exhibitions at The Olana Partnership, Associate Curator of American Art at the Newark Museum of Art, and held long-term fellowships from Washington University in St. Louis, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Smithsonian Institution. Recent projects include essays for collection catalogues of the Palmer Museum of Art and the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center as well as the exhibitions Every Leaf & Twig: Andrew Wyeth’s Botanical Imagination and Terraforming: Olana’s Historic Photography Collection Unearthed (with artist David Hartt).

Cost: $10; $8 for members