The Philip Morton Gallery of Rehoboth Beach is featuring the work of Al Lachman, a craftsman and fine arts painter with more than 60 years experience.
Born in 1936, he was classically trained in oil painting at the Art Students League, the School of Visual Arts and Syracuse University. He sold his very first painting at the age of 17 at the Art Students League. In the 61 years following that first sale, he has established himself as a professional artist with a unique distinctive style.
Lachman has earned numerous awards including Best of Show at the Pastel Society of America Annual Show in New York City, which is the highest honor bestowed upon any U.S. pastelist annually. Lachman is represented in thousands of private and corporate collections throughout the United States, Canada, Europe and South America.
Painting comes as natural to him as breathing. “After 61 years,” he says, he is “still excited to paint.” He still loves what he does, like breathing, he has no choice, says Arlene Lachman, his wife of 32 years. The two of them manage his art gallery in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. She notes how rare it is for artists to own their own gallery and they appreciate the loyal following he has cultivated over the years.
Lachman wants the viewer to participate in his work. He does not dot every “I” or cross every “T,” says his wife, because he wants the viewer to join in the experience.
His father was a disciplined union house painter. That sense of discipline has combined with Lachman’s skilled craftsmanship creating colorful, thoughtful paintings. Lachman is known for his brilliant use of color and for the special technique he developed where he paints on both sides of a clear panel to provide his artwork with depth and light.
The varying amounts of light make the work dynamic. The clear panel perspective changes depending on the level of light. He is constantly flipping the work to paint either side and only paints one work at a time. Many of his works demonstrating this unique painting technique are on display here in Rehoboth.
Lachman works in oil, acrylic and pastels. He will often combine two of the three in a particular artwork along with mixed media. This is his In Full Bloom, an acrylic on panel painting.
“Your uniqueness is what makes you what you are and when you share it, it comes back to you,” Lachman says. Artists deal with the abstract and how they apply this uniqueness is what makes it art, he points out, noting that “viewer appreciation is as important as the work itself.” A work of art is finished when the magic is there, Lachman says.
His exhibition at the Philip Morton Gallery runs through Oct. 13.