Palimpsest of Chance and Change: Erik Gelehrter


“NATURE ACCUMULATES, from our genome to the millennia of layers in the ground beneath us. But nature also erodes, revealing concealed structures and surfaces. Nature decays, old life taking new forms. Emergent patterns arise from such complexity, and our minds find beauty in these.”

Eric Gelehrter’s artistic process is a dialogue of chance and choice, as he seeks to evoke subtle resonances in composition, texture and form, incorporating found objects and their fields of associations to create a cohesive whole.

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“Coins from nations that have passed into history, ancient chains, unhewn wood, mechanical components outside of the mechanical context, salt, glyphic line drawings; all fused onto 24” metal tiles with layers and layers of polymer. Liquid Plastic, a ubiquitous, pervasive material of our age; The Anthropocene. This is our geologic layer, our strata.”


Although these pieces speak to universal themes such as entropy, the passage of time, and natural processes, the work is also very much rooted in Chicago.  These works all began with a $0 budget, found materials, found colors, flotsam, discards, scraps, salvage, treasures.  “Accreted over years by a collective of bohemians, over there due West on North Avenue, part of an endophytic subculture that still pervades the visible, prevalent, omnipresent cultural and political landscape of our time.”

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Eric doesn’t see this work as part of a larger art movement or scene:

“I’m reluctant to attempt to name this aesthetic. Elusiveness itself is a fascination of nature, and we benefit from its contemplation.”

Eric Gelehrter’s Palimpsest of Chance and Choice is on view now at the Flatiron Arts Building through the end of the year. The artist will be present November 2nd and December 7th from 7pm to Midnight. 1579 N. Milwaukee Ave, Third Floor rear.

Still on view on the third floor of the Flatiron: Yva Neal’s MOSSome Gift and Jeremiah Read’s The Abstract Machinist. 

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