In 1963, art historian Max J. Friedländer argued that “in a world from which the gods have vanished, the miracle and enigma of landscape remains.” Are Eric Aho’s landscapessuch oil paintings as Trail (Third Approach to the Mountain), Hemlock Ravine, and The Straw Field (all works cited, 2013)enigmatic and miraculous? Yes, to the extent that they constitute an attempt “to get closer to nature” while “avoid[ing] the banality of the objective” (as Friedländer put it, writing about Monet). Aho’s forests, mountains, ravines, and straw fields recall Impressionist and Post-Impressionist landscape painting; they are not objectively described but convey his sensations, his subjectivitythe “personal idiosyncrasy” that Friedländer thought was involved in Cézanne’s landscape paintings.
Aho is surrounded by wilderness. His New England studio has windows that look out onto
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