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Passages of Time: Drawings by Gerry Wubben

Passages of Time: Drawings by Gerry Wubben

Second Floor Main Gallery

December 03, 2016 - February 26, 2017

Gerry Wubben takes the tradition of drawing to new heights in monumentally-scaled portraits and nature subjects. Measuring seven feet high, his detailed, realistic renderings are carefully executed in charcoal. Amongst the oldest of drawing mediums, charcoal was one of the primary materials used for sketching by Renaissance artists, including Leonardo da Vinci.

Wubben prefers charcoal to other drawing mediums because of its versatility in yielding tonal values and textural qualities. This medium coupled with a large format enables Wubben to capture even the minutest detail. The wrinkles in the bed sheets in Jade, the tassel threads on the baby’s hat in Angela and Liam, and the crumbling of the weathered stone in Tomb demonstrate Wubben’s experience in printmaking as well as his seemingly infinite patience. More than 100 hours are devoted to each drawing.

While his nature themes are primarily objective studies, Wubben’s portraits are of friends and family members, people with whom he has an intimate connection. Working from photographs, his likenesses are brutally honest and, at times, act as poignant reminders of the passage of time.

Wubben depicts both the very young and the aged, and in a few cases, has rendered the same individual in health and also in suffering, such as the portraits of Gary, a friend who died of Lou Gehrig’s disease. The scale and pose of his subjects often prompt comparisons of his portraits with those of the American artist Chuck Close, whom Wubben admires. While he embraces the artistic challenge to achieve a realistic image, Wubben states his true intention as the “... strive[ing] to depict the soul of the person and speak of the cycle of life of which we are all a part.”