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"I miss you most of all, my darling, when autumn leaves start to fall"; so Johnny Mercer's words echo Eric Rhein's exquisite tribute to friends who have died as the result of AIDS. The Kentucky-born artist, who trained at the School of Visual Arts and is based in New York, conceived Leaves one autumn at an artists’ retreat in New Hampshire while experiencing a physical rebirth thanks to the advent of effective AIDS medication. The project comprises over a hundred leaves rendered in wire and mounted on drawing paper or the flyleaves of books, each recalling the spirit of a lost friend. Other ‘wire drawings’ depict hummingbirds, anatomy, blood cells and graphs, intimating the twin themes of nature and spirituality, and living with AIDS and its legacy.
Eric's work has been exhibited extensively in New York, most recently at the Lincoln Center; the Leslie/Lohman Gay Art Foundation; the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Community Center; and across the USA as well as in London, Paris, Munich, Stockholm and Tokyo. He has featured in publications including Art in America, New York Times, The James White Review and Vanity Fair.
Eric holds an MFA from the School of Visual Arts, and has received grants from the Pollock/Krasner Foundation, Adolph and Esther Gottlieb, and Art Matters. More information about the artist can be found at his website: www.ericrhein.com.
'Self Portrait, Adams Studio, The MacDowell Colony', silver gelatin print, 8" x 10", 1996.