Magazine article Southwest Art

Gregory Block

Magazine article Southwest Art

Gregory Block

Article excerpt

Gallery 1261, June 7-July 20

CONTEMPORARY realism is the painting style that resonates in the heart of Steamboat Springs artist Gregory Block. In his solo show at Gallery 1261, which opens on June 7 with an artist's reception from 5 to 8 p.m., the 26-year-old painter uses that style to explore the fascinating world of everyday objects. "For me, everything is fair game," Block says. "I am less object-driven and more driven by visual qualities. The wrinkled skin of a piece of fruit is what draws me to paint, rather than the piece of fruit itself. Because of this, the objects that inspire me are limitless."

Block's show includes still-life paintings of objects with which he interacts on a daily basis. His teapot, wine glasses, dishes, and cutting board are part of carefully planned and executed works in oil. Occasionally he heads down to the local thrift store and peruses its inventory to find something new to paint. "What's so interesting to me about objects is the many different ways they appear in different situations," he says. "Under direct light, they look one way. In ambient light, they look an entirely different way. The same thing is true about positioning an object. Looking at an object at eye level is completely different from looking down at the same object."

Most of the still-life paintings in the show are small in size: Many are 11 by 14 inches, and some are as tiny as 2 by 3 inches. Sharing the show with these intimate works is a series of landscapes that can be as large as 4 by 6 feet. …

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