Eric Aho is best known for his captivating impressionistic scenes of the natural world. In gestural but measured strokes he conjures encompassing scenes ripe with shadow and space, color and shape, and stillness and motion, ever exhibiting his mastery of oil paint in all of its textures and viscosities. Within each work, Aho brilliantly captures the dichotomy of being in the wilderness, feeling connected to the environment and at the same moment disrupting the natural setting. Each of Aho's paintings exemplify this separation and union between oneself and nature.
Absorbed in his work, Aho meditates on the colors and patterns physically before him in nature. His paintings are impressions of the shades, tones, and textures of the landscape he places himself within. Aho's en plein air compositions are smaller in scale compared to his work in the studio. After completing a scene outdoors, Aho uses the same color palette to recreate the study in his studio on a large canvas. These paintings are often life-size, allowing the viewer to stand before the work, become engulfed in the scene, and find a sense of connection to the environment before them.
As writer Tim Weed describes, in Aho's work, "A vibrating current of electricity dwells just behind everything in nature and the encounter with the painting, like [an] encounter with [a] trout, links you to that current, if only for a fleeting instant. A connection is made between you and something larger. Something important and true."
Each piece captures immensities made intimate; each painting is an attempt to wrangle time and reality. In his artist's statement, Eric Aho asks us to take a moment: "Standing before a canvas, like standing in the woods, is much the same. It takes a moment for the eye to adjust to less light in the forest as much as it does to quiet the mind. Is this what Whitman meant by "unminding"-to just look without disturbance?"
Born in Melrose, Massachusetts, Aho studied at the Central Saint Martins School of Art and Design in London, England and then received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in printmaking at the Massachusetts College of Art in Boston, MA. Aho has exhibited throughout the United States and internationally. Recent solo exhibitions were held at New Britain Museum of American Art, New Britain, CT, the Hood Museum of Art, Hanover, NH, the Federal Reserve Board, Washington, DC, and the Currier Museum of Art, Manchester, NH. His work is held in the permanent collections of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, San Francisco, CA; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA; Denver Art Museum, Denver, CO; the Hood Museum of Art, Hanover, NH; and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY, among others.