Pitcher Perfect: Still lifes by Eric Chamberlain

Red Plate Yellow Background

At Shift Gallery, Feb. 2-25, 2017

A variety of objects ranging from pitchers, bowls and platters to bottles, jars and cans of ink from the studio are depicted in paintings and prints. Large scale work that is gestural with vibrant hues is offset by small studies of jars and cans in somber tones. – Eric Day Chamberlain

Although his description of the work is certainly correct, what Chamberlain doesn’t mention is the utter delight these pieces pose, somber or not. The large work is indeed vibrant – one in particular, Large Studio Still Life (60”x72”) has a rich pink ground and red gestural brush strokes, making it both striking and satisfying, loose, at times messy, brave, and, quite simply, energized. Keeping the feel of a tabletop at such a grand scale is testament to the many years he’s been at his studio practice.

Chamberlain is both an accomplished oil painter and a printmaker. And these historically traditional mediums provide him a full measure of freedom in which to express his scenes of daily life and studio settings. He paints what is around him beautifully and uniquely. A flattened abstractness alongside more contoured depictions of his objects brings intrigue to these wonderfully layered and intentional works.

Just as a potter improves with each vessel thrown, Chamberlain develops each oil painting, each print – by the sheer repetitiveness of forms. He interprets them in ever changing ways with distinct moods to each. The pitcher that crops up in many of his works becomes ever more interesting as its lovely, familiar shape changes over time. If you look closely, you develop a remembrance of the slight variations making them all the more compelling

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