Gerald Geerlings (1897-1998) was an architect and printmaker. Living for over a century, the artist fit more into his lifetime than most. He served in both World Wars, including developing the Target Identification Unit for the Air Force with his pioneering efforts in aerial perspective drawings and maps. He attended architecture school and art school and simultaneously worked as an architect and printmaker. His style betrayed his architectural background, as his imagery consisted of urban skylines and towering skyscrapers. What was magnetic about Geerlings work was the voiceless narrative he infused into each work of art. His prints were often from an ant’s perspective, giving the viewer the impression of craning their neck upwards to only see part of the colossal buildings that were popping up in major metropolises across the world. The electric lights and their reflections against the city illuminate his prints, which were often set at nighttime. With his unique partial perspective of the buildings and the shadowy recesses created by the night, the artist set the stage for his viewer to take a fresh look at the glimmering cities of prosperity. Although he was lauded for his printmaking early in his career, he left the practice during the Great Depression and focused on architecture solely until 1975. He found his way back to the artform later in life, creating two distinct yet related periods in his artistic career.
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