Tomorrow marks the opening of Questroyal’s inaugural exhibition of contemporary painting featuring the work of Texan artist Jerry Malzahn. Jerry and I first met in 2002. He is a passionate proponent of Hudson River School painting and our association escalated into a lifelong friendship.
Great artistic ability was brewing within Malzahn that was not identified until countless hours studying the work of America’s finest landscape painters unleashed his latent talent. Jerry realized that he needed to proceed with great haste to refine and develop his newborn ability because the revelation came in his fifth decade.
His ambition and determination far exceeded his financial resources and I found myself motivated to engineer an inventive way for Jerry to acquire the paintings of the best Hudson River School artists. He knew that he needed to surround himself with their work so that the vision of each could be integrated with his own creative impulse. It wasn’t long before he began numerous journeys deep into the wilderness. Undeterred by snakes, bears, fierce storms, or dangerous precipices, Jerry voraciously worked to absorb the wonders before him. On one trip, somewhere in the recesses of the Catskills, a brooding nightfall roused him from a creative stupor. He was perfectly lost. It required the combined efforts of airborne search and rescue teams as well as a small army of park rangers to recover our artist!
Jerry has strived to emulate the techniques of those painters that rouse his spirit. But he is not a copyist. He shares the same inspiration of all the greats that have come before him yet the integrity of his personal vision is never compromised. Now, more than ever, we need an artist to rekindle our love of a nature that suffers the relentless advance of modern man.
Jerry Malzahn’s gift has been recognized by his admission into the Salmagundi Club and a special invitation from former President and Mrs. George W. Bush. Jerry’s paintings were also exhibited in collaboration with The Colorado Symphony Orchestra for the premier of Charles David Denler’s Portraits of Colorado—An American Symphony No. 1 in May 2013. The paintings were integral to Denler’s creation of his critically acclaimed masterwork. Following these impressive achievements, I know the best is still yet to come.
Jerry Malzahn: American Landscapes will be on view through August 15th.