2300 Cherokee Street
St. Louis, Missouri 63118

May 2 – June 13; Opening reception from 6 – 10 p.m. on May 2
Gallery Hours:
noon – 4 p.m. Wed – Sun.

Local Treasure Mark Weber revisits ‘20 Years of Painting’ at phd gallery from May 2 to June 13. On view in the portfolio gallery is Susan Sullivan’s ‘Pocket Landscape.’

Since completing his graduate studies at Washington University in 1976, Weber has established himself in St. Louis as a prolific and visionary painter as well as a fervent educator. Trace the arc of his work’s development over the last two decades in a solo exhibition hosted by phd gallery, “MARK WEBER: 20 Years of Painting.” Nearly 40 of Weber’s oil and alkyd paintings, in various sizes, will be on view May 2 through June 13, with an opening reception from 6 to 10 p.m. Saturday, May 2.

Mark Weber began his career as a photorealist, painting highly realistic images of plant life, buildings, and automobiles. Gradually he began using photographs merely as references and the paintings became less photographic. Over the years, those paintings evolved from images of underwater swimmers to amusing historical paintings complete with gold-gilt frames, and eventually to paintings of landscapes and sacred objects. Weber’s images are no longer taken directly from photographs, but from direct observation or memory. In this way, his landscapes, roomscapes, and other images affect a less literal experience for the viewer by not referencing an exact time or a specific place. Viewers are drawn into the painting in their own personal way, on both a technical and spiritual level.

Although the images in Mark Weber’s paintings take many forms including walking sticks, floating flames, crosses, and landscapes, the themes that surface are ones of personal hope and aspiration, which, according to the artist, “make us individuals.” Weber favors subtle colors – browns, blues, and mossy greens. Fire, smoke and rust often make the only bright spots. These images are painted with techniques favored by many of the masters of Renaissance and Baroque art. He begins by “drawing” an under-painting using only a paintbrush, a technique called “grisaille.” Then thin layers of translucent oil paint glazes are applied. This technique enables the artist to develop a depth of color, form, light, and shadow that produces a sense of drama the Italians called “chiaroscuro.”

The most current work from Mark Weber is a series called “Special Intentions.” These are paintings and sculptures using found objects, collected from backyards, junk yards, and railroads. Their primary existence may have been as a piece of metal on a car, a spray can, a handle of a shovel. After its existence was seemingly served, it was discarded to rust or decay away and return to the earth. Weber has reinstituted these discarded objects into another existence deviating from their original function. They now serve as crosses and other abstract forms. These objects, which are about a confluence of spirituality and hope, become the subjects of Weber’s paintings.

Mark Weber received his B.F.A. degree from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and his M.F.A. degree from Washington University in St. Louis. He has participated in 22 solo exhibitions and over 50 group exhibitions. His work is in numerous public and private collections including the Nelson-Atkins Museum in Kansas City, Ralston Purina, Southwestern Bell, and Hunan Normal University in Changsa, China. Weber served as Professor and Chair of the Department of Art at St. Louis Community College-Forest Park for 13 years prior to his current position as Professor and Program Coordinator of Fine Arts at St. Louis Community College-Wildwood.

Official Website: http://www.phdstl.com/

Added by imageworkspublicrelations on April 22, 2009