Look Up is comprised of mixed media works whose subject matter includes clouds, butterflies, landscape and hummingbirds. The subject matter may seem disparate at first glance, but upon closer inspection, the viewer begins to understand the artist’s consistency in the creative approach to these works. There is an underlying, almost metaphysical layer to Erb’s work. She is interested in exploring recognition beyond vision. How far can you deconstruct an image before it loses its essence? This process has been examined by others throughout the history of art. Although Georgia O’Keeffe painted from real life, (landscapes and flowers) her paintings are examples of early abstractions in the 20th century and she referred to her later work as being “beyond”. Was this a reference to her deteriorating vision as she aged or perhaps a more spiritual reference to the ever present human search for meaning and purpose…or was she moving beyond boundaries. So, too, Catherine Erb is literally blurring the lines between representation and abstraction in order to get to a point where, as Erb says, “All that’s left is a deeper recognition with knowing.” The Hindu word Darshan is present in Erb’s mixed media works. It’s meaning is simply an opportunity to glimpse a deity or sacred object. This philosophy is woven into the works in Look Up.
“What I find fascinating about Catherine Erb’s work is its balance between realism and abstraction. Her work is inspiring, timeless, and very, very, very beautiful.” — Kathy McCarver