Understanding Narrative Through "The Gaze"
Jack Gerber's bold acrylic paintings feature thick-limbed figures, their faces almost cartoonish, engaged in everyday activities, such as walking through the park, encountering a guard dog, or spending the day at the beach. Each scene is suggestive of a larger, unknown story. Arranged in couples and groups, Gerber's characters are not isolated against stark backgrounds. Rather, their bodies overlap one another, arranged so as to create a continuous pattern. His work is reminiscent of Max Beckmann's, a German Expressionist artist whose dense, figurative canvases were similarly filled with implied narrative. In Gerber's Evening in the Park, a couple sits on a moonlit bench engaged in plaintive conversation, while another couple strides by unaware. The borders of one duo define the edges of the other, a pointed juxtaposition whose significance the viewer can only surmise.
American, b. 1927, Philadelphia, PA, United States