Master of Illusion: The Magical Art of Gary Erbe

May 21, 2016 - August 28, 2016

Gary Erbe, The Big Splash, 2001, Oil on canvas. Lent by Mr. & Mrs. Joseph Cusenza

Master of Illusion: The Magical Art of Gary Erbe traces the artist’s career from his early trompe l’oeil works executed in a style the artist calls “levitational realism”–for the illusionistic levitation of the objects depicted–to his more recent paintings that combine trompe l’oeil realism with modernist tendencies, creating works that focus on juxtaposed objects and the dynamics of composition, form, and structure. Inspired by popular culture, Erbe’s subjects range from nostalgic images of childhood pursuits and national pastimes, to American jazz and the golden age of 1950s radio, television, and film, to American history, nationalism, and contemporary social issues. Although self-taught, Erbe’s immaculate skill imbues familiar items with a heightened realism that evokes the otherworldly clarity of Surrealism. Painted from carefully crafted constructions of objects belonging to our shared American experience, Erbe’s work is at once aesthetically complex and profoundly engaging to all.

Master of Illusion: The Magical Art of Gary Erbe is generously sponsored by Andrea B. and Peter D. Klein, Pien and Hans Bosch, & Fern and Hersh Cohen.



September 24, 2020
Call to Artists: Emerging Artists Series 2021
September 21, 2020
Virtual Music @ The Museum: Gail Storm
Long Island's Best 2020 Burney, Tommy_Harborfields HS_Familiarity_Digital art
September 18, 2020
HART for Art Hosts LI Best Artwork
more museum news



The Heckscher Museum Celebrates 100 Thomas-Moran-Grand-Canyon-of-the-Colorado-River
The Heckscher Museum Celebrates 100: Tracing History, Inspiring the Future


Long Island Biennial 2020
October 15, 2020 - January 10, 2021
Amanda Valdez AV_backside bind_2018
Amanda Valdez: Piecework
August 1, 2020 - October 4, 2020
more exhibitions