Currier Museum of Art
150 Ash Street
Manchester, New Hampshire
Through September 9
It’s indeed fitting that the Currier Museum of Art be the first American museum to
present an exhibit of New England landscape painter Eric Aho’s work, as he grew up in nearby Hudson, New Hampshire. But his personal and professional travels to his homeland, Finland, as well as to Ireland and Norway, additionally influence his paintings.
From his studio in Saxtons River, Vermont, he executes his more recent works — highly abstract and often monumental — a shift from direct
to remembered observation, and from a naturalistic palette to bold, evocative color.
Acknowledged by some as one of the nation’s top artists working today, Aho remembers visiting the Currier as a young boy and seeing works by
Englishman John Constable, French Impressionist Claude Monet and American painters Jasper Cropsey and Charles Sheeler. The pieces struck a chord
with the young man and he continues to be inspired and informed by them today, although his work cannot be categorized as mimicking any of them.
In fact, he says, such artists as Matisse, Cezanne and de Kooning influence his more recent works.
For more than 20 years, Aho has been painting the landscape. Early on he would create his work on site by direct observation, but over time
he’s osmosed into a more interpretive expression where he says he “draws from the heart with a loose hand.” His intention is to paint what’s real,
not saccharine, he said.