On view will be Balmer’s individual depictions of Boston’s romantic skylines and busy harbor vistas. Rendered in a simplified, abstracted manner, his cities feel both nostalgic and contemporary. Long-standing Boston landmarks, such as the Prudential and John Hancock buildings, tower above clusters of tiny white sailboats bobbing along the Charles River. His diagonal and bowed lines, juxtaposed with the grid-like structures, create a unique visual intensity.
Balmer’s still lifes transport viewers to quiet domestic settings where people convene for conversation and comfort. He writes: “For me the table represents gatherings with family and friends. It's the feeling when the food is finished and the wine is being passed around. Everyone is relaxed, sitting, laughing, and sharing stories.”
The artist’s painting technique is assertive and utilizes several coats of oil. He scrapes, scores, and sands his panels and canvases, allowing traces of black under-painting and darker pigments to show through the surface. The results provide an inimitable depth and texture. Within the primarily horizontal or vertical movement of Balmer’s compositions, various purposeful elements are inserted: sculptures on buildings, riverside boathouses, scattered sailboats, irregular rooftops, angular windows, lined cloth on a table, an askew wine bottle, or bunches of fruit. Balmer delights viewers with a rare spontaneity and an uncommon handling of space. As part of their allure, the paintings demonstrate a critical combination of thoughtfully balanced representation with unplanned abstraction. Balmer states his ambition: “…to make the work as abstract as possible without losing the essence of the scene.”
Paul Balmer received his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Meadowbank College, Sydney, Australia, in 1984. His work has been exhibited across the globe including solo exhibitions in New York; Boston; San Francisco; Chicago; London; Amsterdam; Rotterdam; Rome; Seoul and Cape Town. His paintings are found in permanent private collections in America, Europe, and Africa. He currently resides in New Canaan, CT with his wife and two adorable young children.