A fourth-generation sportsman with a refined collector's eye, Stephen B. O'Brien Jr. launched Copley Fine Art Auctions in 2005 after almost fifteen years in the antiques trade. A trusted advisor to leading collectors, O'Brien opened Stephen O'Brien Jr. Fine Arts, LLC, in 1996.
Through October 15, my gallery Stephen O’Brien Jr. Fine Arts will feature a solo exhibition of six major works by the artist, writer, and sportsman Galen Mercer. The grandson of two painters and the son of another, Mercer excelled in formal technique at Thornton Hall Academy, a school specializing in the fine arts. This exhibition demonstrates his impressive ability to apply that classic tradition to a bold, expressive palette.
Any nature lover like myself will appreciate Mercer’s works. His landscape and sporting scenes reveal both the harmony and vitality of nature. In Tide Water Ducks, the striking and vibrant colors of the sunset reflected against the clouds contrast with the graceful flight of the ducks above the low horizon, the calm waters, and the deep blue taking over the upper corners of the canvas. Mercer’s palette, painterly brushstroke, and dynamic composition all combine to show nature’s calm strength.
Mercer himself has lived in the Catskill Mountains of New York and the Green Mountains of Vermont. His works express his first hand experiences and relationship with nature. Mercer conveys the sense of nature—whether through fishing, hunting, hiking, or simply enjoying the surroundings—that it is both calm and nurturing while strong and powerful. I admire his skill at depicting these paradoxical themes, as he so insightfully does in all of his works in our exhibition. Indeed, this talent has earned his placement not only in group shows, but also one man exhibitions at the American Museum of Fly Fishing and Laurence Rockefeller’s Beaverkill Gallery.
If you enjoy nature and its nuances, you should look further at Mercer’s works. Information on the exhibition can be found at the Stephen O’Brien Jr. Fine Arts website, www.americansportingart.com.