Out of this world: Damian Loeb’s celestial paintings at Acquavella Galleries

The artist’s new series explores visions of the universe

Cygnus by Damian Loeb
Cygnus by Damian Loeb

Astronomical landscapes are the focus at Acquavella Galleries in New York this month, where 12 new works by Damian Loeb will be on view from Friday March 3 to Thursday April 6. Entitled Sgr A* – an abbreviation for Sagittarius A*, the massive black hole at the centre of our galaxy – the exhibition features paintings (from $150,000) based on the artist’s digital photographs of celestial events and objects and explores the way our view of the universe is impacted by new media.

Scorpius by Damian Loeb
Scorpius by Damian Loeb

This new series includes the dark, mystifying Sagittarius and an entrancing moonscape, Scorpius – both from 2016 – as well as Cygnus, Loeb’s work from 2015 that explores the night sky in vivid detail. All are oil on linen; using the language of classical painting, Loeb conveys his sense of wonder at seeing everything from the rings of Saturn to a lunar eclipse to rare solar flares.

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Each of the large-scale works (measuring up to 1.5m x 1.5m) “appears to be the product of advanced technology”, explains gallery director Nick Acquavella. “But, as marvellously detailed as these pieces seem, Damian’s goal isn’t to create perfect reproductions of outer space. Rather, he wants to convey the humbling sense of awe he experienced when he was first looking through his lens.” 

Sagittarius by Damian Loeb
Sagittarius by Damian Loeb

Also on view are the 2016 works Jupiter and 4 Moons, a swirling study in red and inky black, Penumbra, a meditative view of the Earth’s curvature, and The Big Dipper, a lucid depiction of the twinkling constellation against a dark night sky. With their near-cinematic quality, these paintings transport the viewer deep into the universe.

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For more upcoming exhibitions, click here.

 

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