Eric Tillinghast May 2009
After attending art school in Sweden, Eric Tillinghast began his art career in California creating charcoal line drawings that became increasingly geometric as he developed and matured. The precision and carefully developed detail of these early works has carried through in his present work, however, in the form of meticulous execution and careful attention to every aspect of design. Finding that he could explore his ideas about line and space more succinctly with metal, he began making box-like constructions of varying sizes and finishes and engraving them with geometrically ordered lines and patterns. Once engaged with this new material, he felt that he had found his form. These works first appeared as singular objects, but soon he began to create pieces with multiple components, often arranged in a grid. As Tillinghast’s work with steel began to evolve, cylindrical shapes appeared and he began to incorporate water into his pieces. His interest was no longer just with space and line, but also with light and liquid. “Empires” is the latest group of works in color by Eric Tillinghast. All of these paintings are made on small, unfolded cardboard boxes and packaging material. As different as each is from the next, they are all a means to the same end: a man-made container, and yet the shapes and varieties employed to make even the simplest rectangular box are apparently infinite. This series explores these forms and the simple geometry they possess.