magazine article and featured painting

Artist's Palette magazine article about Ernie Gerzabek abstract artist: Wilderness by Design
my background,  architect became professional visual artist
biographical information, influences, approach to creativity


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"Wilderness by Design"

Extract from Feature Article written by Natasha Percy
in Artist's Palette Magazine, Issue No. 29

Ernie Gerzabek's training in architecture and design adds an edge to his paintings,
which reflect the Australian landscape in a unique way. 
His use of invigorating colour and patterns reflects his desire to create works
that inspire optimism, reflect the vitality of the wilderness
and provide a meaningful experience for the viewer.

Ernie left his homeland of Hungary at the age of 18 as a refugee and spent two years in Austria with his family before migrating to Sydney Australia.  As a child, growing up in a landlocked country under the oppressive communist regime, he had resigned himself to the probability that he would never see the sea. 

In a wonderful twist of irony, today he has made his home on Sydney’s northern beaches, regularly travels to Europe and North America and finds much of his inspiration from the stunning landscapes he encounters on three different continents.

Ernie Gerzabek’s background as an architect adds an edge to his paintings, which reflect the love of nature in a unique way.  His use of invigorating colour and patterns reflects his desire to create works that inspire optimism, reflect the vitality of the wilderness and provide a meaningful experience for the viewer.  “For me, the colours are stimulating” he explains.  “I like bright optimistic colours that can translate into the thrill of being alive.”  Ernie sees colour as both an emotional and visual tool and he aims to choose those that best express his feelings towards his subject matter.

Dots and lines form a significant part of Ernie’s paintings and he maintains they are the basic elements of visual expression as a whole.  “Dots allow different colours to be put side by side and then those colours blend together in your eye (or more accurately in your mind), producing a new colour.”


When considering which artists inspire him, Ernie says he most admires Van Gogh’s intensity and use of colour to stir up emotions, Paul Klee’s sensitive insight into our inner beings, Kandinsky’s exuberance and sense of composition and Picasso’s brave inventiveness.  As for Australian artists, he loves John Olsen’s playful and imaginative expression, Sydney Nolan’s “cutting to the chase”, Fred Williams’ ability to abstract the essential elements of a landscape, and last but not least, Aboriginal Emily Kngwarreye’s instinctive mastery of colour, structure and connection to Country.

Ernie loves the purity and intensity of abstract art.  “I look at abstraction as the process of reducing and distilling the essential elements from a landscape, for example the colours, rhythm, mood and feel of the place,” he says.  Getting rid of unnecessary detail and extracting the most important features of a scene what really matters, according to Ernie.  “I try to go beyond the hillside, sunshine, vines, grapes and wine to find the final product, the concentrated spirit, the brandy” he illustrates.

Ernie believes this ‘filtering’ process is well-suited to the subject matter of the natural world.  “Wilderness by its nature is untamed, overwhelming, and awe-inspiring – unless simplified, it is beyond our comprehension to take it all in,” he says.  According to Ernie, getting down to the basics is not as easy as it might seem, and not many do it well.  “Good abstraction leapfrogs the trivial and bypasses the intermediary to convey information directly,” he states.  “Bad abstraction is contrived and forced and can very easily become clichéd.”

While selling paintings naturally has its benefits, Ernie says the real achievement comes when his viewers not only find his work attractive, but also find it speaks to them.  “My main aim in being an artist is to produce art that is meaningful to people,” he says.

featured painting

abstract geometric painting based on Tibetan mandala

733  Mandala meditation 1 (warm colours)
76x76cm acrylic on canvas, self-framed

Ernie Gerzabek Artist Gallery


© Ernie Gerzabek 2000-2016

A magazine article with photographs about me and my art practice published in Artist's Palette magazine.  The title is "Wilderness by Design"
and it covers my work as an Australian contemporary painter creating abstract and landscape paintings.