Gary T. Erbe, a self taught painter in the medium of oil, was born in Union City, New Jersey in 1944. Erbe was employed as an engraver from 1965 to 1970 while developing his personal approach to trompe L’Oeil painting. In 1969, he coined the term “Levitational Realism” which was a break away from traditional realism. In 1970, he made a decision which would profoundly change his life; he decided to pursue art full time. He has been painting professionally for 32 years. His work has evolved over the years.
Erbe has exhibited extensively since 1970 with solo shows at The Butler Institute of American Art, Ohio, The Springfield Art Museum, MO, The Montclair Art Museum, NJ, The Boca Raton Museum, Fl., The New Jersey State Museum, The New Britain Museum of American Art, CT, The Canton Art Institute, OH, The National Arts Club, NYC, The James A. Michener Art Museum, PA; The Woodmere Art Museum, PA; The Alexander Gallery, NYC , ACA Galleries, NYC and others.
A partial list of awards include The Julius Hallgarten Award at The National Academy of Design, 1975, Allied Artists of America Gold Medal, 1975, 1984,1991, 2006,2007 and 2010; Audubon Artists Gold Medal, 1998, The National Arts Club First Prize, 1997, The Butler Institute of America Art National Mid-Year First Place Award, 2002, Presidents Award , The Salmagundi Club, Audubon Artists Silver Medal, 2002, The Butler Institute of American Art Lifetime Achievement Medal, 2003; Salmagundi Club Medal of Honor, 2007, National Museum of Sport Gold Medal 2010 amongst others.
Among the many group shows Erbe has participated in are “American Art on the Brink of the 21st Century” organized by Meridian International in Washington, D.C. that traveled for 2 years in the Far East. “Still Life from Rembrandt to the Millennium” at The Albuquerque Museum, New Mexico, “68 Years/68 Masters” at the ACA Galleries, NYC, “True Colors: Meditation on the American Spirit” organized by Meridian International and traveling to NYC, Atlanta, GA and throughout Europe.
Erbe is a member of Allied Artists of America and served as its President from 1994 to 2005, Honorary Member of The National Arts Club and Salmagundi Club, Audubon Artists, Artists Fellowship, The Connecticut Academy of Fine Arts, Trompe l'Oeil Society of Artists and America China Oil Painting Artists League.
Erbe has organized and curated many exhibitions including Allied Artists of America Members Exhibition at The Butler Institute of American Art and traveling to ten museums throughout the America, The Salmagundi Club Collection traveling for 2 years to Museums in America, “Henry Gasser, Beyond City Limits”, traveling to 4 Museums, “The Pastel Society of America Invitational” to The Butler Institute of America Art, “The Martinos”, A Family Legacy”, traveling to The Butler Institute of America Art and The Woodmere Art Museum, John R. Grabach: Century Man amongst others.
Erbe is listed in “Who’s Who in American Art”, “Who’s Who in America”, Biographical Encyclopedia of American Painters, Sculptors and Engravers of the United States Colonial to 2002”, “Who’s Who in the East” and “Who’s Who in the World”.
He is published in American Artist Magazine, July 1974, International Artists Magazine, Feb/March 2002, Best of Oil Painting by Rockport Publishing amongst others.
Erbe’s work can be found in many public and private collections throughout the world.