Greenwich artist Ernest Garthwaite's Wetlands exhibition May 7-July 12, 2009 at Fairfield University's Thomas J. Walsh Art Gallery


During the turmoil of the 1960s, Greenwich, Conn. artist Ernest Garthwaite had a seminal revelation that would affect his sixty-year career in art; he would use art as a medium of ethical awareness. He discovered quickly, his artistic expression demanded more than two-dimensional painting. The result of his remarkable synthesis and overlap of dimension through sculpture, film, sound and painting - "Wetlands: A Spiritual Refrain" - opened at Fairfield University's Thomas J. Walsh Art Gallery on Thursday, May 7, 2009. The exhibition continues through Sunday, July 12. Admission to the gallery is free.

Dr. Diana Mille, director of the Walsh Art Gallery, is meticulous in her description of the artist's painting and sculptural forms, "He incorporates the painterly and formal elements of Neo-realism and Abstract Expressionism and," she continues, "the shaped canvas has been reborn here with new vigor, particularly felt in the large gestural bands of color and brushstroke. Garthwaite endows each work with a fusion of paint, shaped surface and implied movement."

With six decades behind him that speak to a profound dedication to finding new perspectives in painting, Garthwaite's "Wetlands" signifies a major unveiling of previously unseen works; a collection of masterworks from his early periods through his latest work.

Using his signature-curved surface, the parabolic shape, Garthwaite shares a new perspective in viewing art - through the unity between light, color and natural phenomena. He achieves the implied movement of film and the physical presence of painting and sculpture. The viewer may experience subtle movements on and within the surface that awaken the senses and challenge the mind.

It is Garthwaite's intention that the paintings provide a few moments of meditation for the viewer. "The rest is up to them - it is possible they may find a new visual sense of self-discovery." The Walsh Art Gallery is located in the Quick Center for the Arts and is open Tuesday-Saturday, 11:00-5:00 p.m., Sunday, 12-4:00 p.m., closed Monday. The gallery is open before and during intermission for all events at the Quick Center for the Arts.

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Media Contact: Joan Grant, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2950, jgrant@fairfield.edu

Posted on April 20, 2009

Vol. 41, No. 313