1) Anna Birkenmeier, Zurich, Nov. 2010: New Orleans in the middle of Zurich
New Orleans, August 2005. We all remember pictures of the devastating Hurricane Katrina, which destroyed much of the city. Standing in front of the paintings by New Orleans artist Gerald Domingue, one gets a real feeling of the fury with which the storm must have raged through the city. Domingue has long admired Nature in all its power, explosive energy and passion. This is impressively reflected in his pictures: “With all its moods, Nature also exhibits beauty in a vast variety of forms. Again and again it surprises us, such as it did with this terrible storm.” Before devoting himself entirely to painting in 1997, Gerald Domingue, now a resident of Zurich, was a medical scientist for 40 years and was a professor of urology, microbiology and immunology. These years also consistently influenced his artistic creativity: “In biological medicine one constantly finds fascinating pictures that offer an incredible potential for my painting. Here, too, I repeatedly find inspiration.” Domingue’s paintings reflect a sustained dynamism and movement: a flow of energy that seeks harmony through form and colours. The fact that Domingue’s paintings survived Katrina intact is bordering on a miracle. “While many of my friends and relatives left the city, I stayed on with my paintings.”
Domingue’s works are alive – that is what makes them so unique. Each painting tells a story that primarily alludes to the link between science and painting and highlights Domingue’s background as an intellectual artist and poet. His works attest to his talent, artistic skill and a powerful imagination. Most of his abstract works are in oil on masonite.
Now, Gerald Domingue and Swiss entrepreneur Ignaz Furger have opened a very special kind of gallery. “Gerald and I had already held several joint exhibitions: the first in Vals, where I converted my father’s workshop to a gallery, then in Zurich, St. Gallen, New York, Paris, Lyon, Ferrara, Italy and New Orleans,” explains Furger. Following his search last spring for an office in Zurich for his strategic consulting business, it quickly became clear that this should take the form of a joint project with Domingue. The result was the “New Orleans am Pfauen” gallery, combined with an office, right next to the Kunsthaus. New Orleans stands firstly for Domingue’s place of origin. Secondly, it also stands for the versatility, contrasts and internationality of the metropolis in the US state of Louisiana. “New Orleans has been called the soul of America: a city with an international cultural identity, and a melting pot of talents from all over the world,” explains Domingue. In future the gallery plans not only to exhibit Domingue’s works but also to hold vernissages of different artists’ works every two to three months. “Always associated in some way with New Orleans,” explain Furger and Domingue. It may be artists from the southern US states or paintings with a link to New Orleans. Both are also keen on the idea of a “New Orleans meets Zurich” theme, which they could well imagine as a way of promoting even young Swiss artists. The aim is not to attract as much passing trade as possible. This would be difficult because the gallery is well hidden, tucked away in an office block. Apart from the vernissages, the exhibition can only be visited by appointment. “Initially we are deliberately targeting people from our circle of friends and acquaintances who are interested in art,” explains Furger. However, in time an increasingly large public will be introduced to art from New Orleans. “With the gallery I want not least to express my admiration for Switzerland, its people and its wonderful natural landscapes, which are a source of daily inspiration for me,” says Domingue. However, for strategy consultant Furger there is another key aspect. “I want to work in an inspirational, stimulating environment and create a symbiotic link between strategy and art.”
2) Review in New York Arts Magazine and Art Fairs International Newspaper, New York, New York, 2010
“Though differing vastly in mark, Domingue’s pieces all have a characteristic feeling of a slow growth and gradual manipulation. In his piece, Symbol of Inner Strength, the gracefulness of the steady easing of the bright orange into the black background tames the difference between the two opposites. The two colors at their most saturated moments are quite extreme and it’s remarkable to see such a peaceful transition between the two. The subtle scale changes in the fragmentation are rather slight and very delicate, as well. The differing size, shifting from larger to smaller also gives the piece a sense of perspective and depth. Keeping within a two-color color scheme, the relationship also helps to build a stronger presence of light and perspective. In his piece, Global Warming, the color variations leak in and out of numerous colors instead of just two. The result is a more abstracted form. At first the black area appears as a cut-out obstructing the view of a beautiful, colorful, kaleidoscope. However, in looking more closely the viewer can make out a few ambiguous areas that lie somewhere in between the absolute black and the segregated, opposing vibrancy of the colored area. In both these pieces there is a bleeding haziness that gives the textural feel of a cross between watercolor and an airbrushed feel. This texture along with the unique organic shapes compiling these forms invent some intriguing and delightfully atmospheric abstractions.” http://www.nyartsmagazine.com
3) David E. Smith, Artist/Art Historian/Lecturer, Paris, London, New York (former lecturer in American art, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; presently a painter and a free lance graphic artist for several leading international publications):
“To see the paintings of Gerald Domingue en masse is to submit oneself to a total seduction of the eye. The other-worlds depicted or hinted at in the oils in particular, suggest forms abstracted from nature, both external and internal, forms in a continual state of flux that extend far beyond the confines of the Masonite support on which they are painted. The powerful sense of movement rarely allows the eye to settle, the gaze continuously shifting to all corners of the painting—close inspection of a detail is to be immediately immersed in an alternative universe of whirling matter. It is the viewer’s choice as to whether these works are interpreted worlds in themselves, or as a microcosm of a much larger plan. It is frequently both impossible and unnecessary to distinguish between foreground and background, or even on occasion, which way is up. Domingue, a colourist of the first order, employs the palette knife almost exclusively to achieve his effects, extensively scratching and scraping the paint in a torrent of whiplashes and arabesques. The result is invariably dramatic and hallucinatory; on contemplating these works, it is as if one is engaged in a dream where all is suggested, nothing is quite what it seems and multiple levels of consciousness are possible.”
4) Dimitar Krustev, MFA, Artist/Writer/Lecturer, Bulgaria, Mexico, USA (prominent classical portrait/realist painter):
“Gerald Domingue is one of the most versatile painters I have known. His paintings have a touch of mystery, an essential element in every great work of art. The artist has no conventional or ordinary style; absence of style is his style. A style in the ordinary meaning of the word would stifle the artist, would rob him of the freedom to experiment, to explore, to be creative to the highest capacity of his talent … behold Pablo Picasso. Domingue is in constant search of new ways of self expression. There are seldom two works which resemble one another. He is a totally original artist. He does not imitate, nor does he copy nature; he creates nature. I leaf through the pages of the catalogue (Domingue, abstract expressionist: American painter – colorist, 1997-2000), and it is Midwives … what brooding, marvelous harmony of dark colors with a startling accent of gold! Look at Glacial Fossils with the blue and while “scrawly” as in a mortal battle with each other. But what does it mean? Perhaps nothing; yet it makes one wonder … it makes one feel ill at ease and the mind goes millions of years back in time … the midwives, the glacial fossils … the mystery of life, the mystery of time! Then look at Requiem … a painting with the color of aged wine and the surprising blue verticals.
This painting is a feast to the eye. It is a masterpiece of simplicity with colors of supreme harmony, and again the mystery. It evokes the solemnity of Mozart’s ‘Requiem’ and the brooding Beethoven ‘Fifth Symphony’. The subconscious is in his painting and it works in unison with his consciousness … marvelous use of colors … a talented and eclectic painter. Behold the painting: Vieux Carré – New Orleans … richness of colors in supreme harmony, exquisite relationship of shapes, design, and again the powerful accent of gold as if floating in the infinity of space. This painting moves me so deeply that I have studied it again and again and I never tire … like listening to a Mozart quartet or a Mahler’s symphony. It reminds me of the great Mexican, Tamayo. In Vieux Carré I see all that Gerald Domingue is: his high sensitivity, his capacity for profound thought, his exquisite awareness for color harmonies, and his unparalleled sense of design. If Domingue had painted only this painting, he would have said it all as an abstract expressionist in its noblest form.”
5) Press Release (2004): Agora Gallery, Soho – Chelsea, New York City, New York
“Impressively accomplished in both the medical sciences and the arts, Gerald Domingue’s simultaneous careers in medicine and painting reveal him to be a truly extraordinary Renaissance man of the modern world. Domingue was born and raised in Louisiana, where he attended undergraduate and postgraduate universities, receiving his doctorate from Tulane University in 1964. Not only has he been a clinical microbiologist and a bacteriology, immunology, infectious diseases researcher, university professor in Louisiana, Missouri, and a postdoctoral fellow in New York, but Domingue is also a published poet and has been painting since the age of nine. Working in a unique style of abstract expressionism, Domingue’s works are influenced by nature and the microcosmic worlds of his scientific studies; by dreams and the intuitive. His paintings are atmospheric and textural, seductive with a taste for the sublime. The organic quality of form and movement in these works suggests levels of nature both lushly internal and monumental, without circumscribed boundaries or indications of a beginning or end. Using simple colors and an uninhibited technique of paint application, Domingue’s paintings are primal in gesture and delve into the mysterious worlds of the subconscious. Since 2000, his work has been widely shown in invited solo exhibitions in Zurich, Vals, St. Gallen, Switzerland and in Paris, France. In 2001, he was the honored foreign invitee for “LA PALETTE EUROPEENE” in Craponne (Lyon), France. His paintings are in private collections in Europe, North America and South America.”
6) Charlene Insley, Gallery Director and Artist, Insley Art Gallery, New Orleans, Louisiana
“In observing Gerald Domingue’s art work, we glimpse superior intellect and an exceptionally creative mind within a person driven to do his best in each of his endeavors. The beauty and appreciation of color, shape and form shown in his paintings are a gift to all who appreciate art and/or science. Rarely does a person excel to world class levels in what some would consider divergent careers. Gerald Domingue has and we are the beneficiaries of his brilliance.”