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Gregory Etchison was born in Baltimore, Maryland in 1945. He was a graduate of the Maryland Institute, College of Fine Art in Baltimore. Etchison moved to New York after college to pursue both art and theater interest. He lived in Brooklyn, New York and designed scenery and costumes for off-Broadway shows for 26 years. He also pursued his art career in New York, and had his first solo exhibition in 1982. He owned two small businesses in Brooklyn, Brownstone Gallery and Studio and Artist’s Bazaar, an art supply store. Looking for a “new start”, he moved to Las Vegas in 1996. To honor the victims of the World Trade Center tragedy, Greg painted a 60 foot mural “The Day” which was exhibited wrapped around the interior of a circular gallery at the Las Vegas Art Museum. Greg, an under-appreciated artist forced to struggle virtually every day of his life, effectively brought his viewers back to the emotion of the day. Greg passed away in 2008.
On canvas, Greg painted what he saw around him or what his imagination saw. His style was American Expressionism, and he attempted to elicit emotion through his artistic endeavors. He was deeply concerned with poverty and the difficult lives of working peoples. In his later years his concern extended to his own mortality. He used unconventional color systems and deliberate distortions of form as a way to express personal and social concerns. His art was developed with spontaneous gestures and on-the-spot creation. Greg’s artistic mission was to tell a story through both art and the theatre.
Artists illustrated in American Expressionism, Art and Social Change 1920- 1950 by Bram Dijkstra chapter IX. What we Build is What We Destroy:
Harry Sternberg(1904-2001), Women and War, 1940. Oil on panel, 48 x 32 inches, Private Collection
Paul Cadmus (1904-1999) Coney Island, 1934. Oil on canvas at Los Angeles County Museum of Art
Boris Deutsch (1882-1978) What Nuclear War will Do to You, 1946. Oil on Canvas, 80 x 60 inches, Judah Magnus Museum, Berkeley, California
Anton Refregier (1905-1979) Guernica, 1937. Oil on Panel, 29½ x 39½ inches. Brigit Refregier, Woodstock, New York.
Philip Guston (1913-1980), Bombardment 1937-38, Oil on wood, diameter 46 inches, Philip Guston Estate and McKee Gallery, New York
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