Gerald Kenneth Geerlings
The images created by Gerald K. Geerlings provide not only a quality of technical achievement but also a visual delight matched by few of his contemporaries. Throughout his distinguished career as a decorated soldier, an accomplished architect and an artist of substantial artistic virtuosity, Gerald Geerlings has created an elegant legacy.
As an artist, Geerlings is by no means prolific. His meticulous working method is readily apparent in wither his stunning aquatints of the 1920s/1930s or delicate pastels from 1970 and the 1980s. Fewer than sixty prints in several mediums were created between 1926 to 1933 and 1975 to 1988.
Architecture and the cityscape are Geerlings’ predominant interests. To this subject matter he brought an exquisite quality of draftsmanship, an unusual technical expertise and a singular sense of composition. As a result, his works are able to project a convincing sense of time, place and architectural integrity. The cityscapes done with aquatint possess an underlying romanticism that is at once suggestive of permanence and transition. This effective combination of the imagined and observed simply reinforces the mythic qualities of the city portrait, usually New York, Chicago or Paris. Geerlings stated that he always sought to create “a social document or a distilled cityscape portrayal.” Geerlings’ works are distinguished by the following key characteristics: extensive detail that concedes to the complete design, a rich variety of tonal gradations and surface texture, and a spatial expressiveness. Invariably, all of the formal elements of a work are exquisitely balanced and coalesce through the mysterious quality of light that illuminates the scene.
Geerlings’ achievement throughout his graphic explorations is as reaching as his technical distinction.