Gehrig, Tom

Tom Gehrig (b. 1948, Oakland, California) is an artist whose work is influenced by more than one genre – specifically, by the Tonalist School of California landscape painting, as well as conceptual art. Through the use of mixed-media and the incorporation of 3-dimentional surfaces in many of his paintings, the result is a kind of surrealistic imagery that in some cases, literally works its way off of the painting’s surface.
At the core of Gehrig’s compositions is an intention to set a surreal stage for personal, site-specific happenings. His work references the human condition—the fact that we alter the surface of the planet in both strange and beautiful ways much as he alters the surface of his paintings.
In 1971, Tom Gehrig earned his degree at the California College of the Arts where he studied painting with Arthur Okamura, Peter Shoemaker and Robert Bechtle. He then received his M.F.A. in 1973 in Inter-media at Mills College, where he worked closely with electronic music composer Robert Ashley. It was this experience that opened the door to experimentation with collage, surreal imagery, theater and performance. Tom created many performances that combined sculpture as theater. These works included “Objects & Theater” (1976, 80 Langton Street) and “The Voice from the Sea” (1977, Oberlin Dance Collective Performance Gallery,), both accompanied by musician Paul Robinson.
A recent recipient of the prestigious Individual Artists Grant from the Marin Arts Council, Tom Gehrig’s work is collected internationally and is represented by galleries throughout the United States.