Eric Garnick


I majored in college in both ceramic studio art and biology. While continuing to experiment with various media, I spent the next two decades studying marine and mathematical ecology before making painting the center of my life. I would cite all these experiences, as well as my life long passion for the New York school painters, as major influences.

My studies involved the dispersion patterns of organisms in space, and I sought in my earlier work to explore the visual rhythms created by the juxtaposition of roughly similar/analogous forms. Although my painting is resolutely non-representational, my inspiration initially often came from such sources as neolithic standing stones (e.g. Stonehenge), industrial relics (e.g. old piers and pilings), and groups of figures in landscapes.

More recently, my work has evolved to become more gestural and more abstract. The interest in rhythms persists but is increasingly buried – an underlying structure that I hope the viewer will sense but not see. These ambitions have led me to larger canvases with a mural-like aspect, and I’ve come to think of the resulting paintings as visual narratives to be read by the outer and inner eye.

I paint in layers in order to maintain the integrity and clarity of these gestures and to create a certain depth, elusiveness, and complexity. The slow process of allowing layers to dry dictates that I typically work on anywhere from eight to eleven paintings at any one time. Although this stretches the work on a given painting out to many sessions, it also enables a kind of conversation, with each painting informing the development of the others.