German Village Gazette

Keny Galleries exhibit

Gough's art features Southern Ohio landscapes

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Alan Gough self-portrait painted in 1961.

Some painters prefer the romance of an old European city, a spectacular seascape or the magnificence of a mountain range.

Alan Gough loves the rolling landscape of Southern Ohio, so much so he's made a career of painting it.

"It just became an involvement, all kinds of reflections pop in and out and supply the connection that seems to be essential to working on a piece over a long period of time," said Gough, who lives in Chillicothe.

His 36-piece exhibit -- Alan Gough: Seasons the Enduring Landscape -- is on display through May 30 at Keny Galleries, 300 E. Beck St. in German Village.

It coincides with a retrospective exhibition of Gough's work through May 10 at Southern Ohio Museum in Portsmouth, Ohio.

Born in Quebec City, Canada, Gough was 5 years old when his family moved to Chillicothe after his father took a job with a paper company.

He said he was moved by the tranquility of his surroundings, the contrasts and the changing of the seasons.

"The requirement for me is it's home," he said.

"This area doesn't have the dramatic intensity of the rocky coast of Maine or the majesty of the Rocky Mountains, but there's a quiet, understated beauty I find. There's a gentleness."

Gough, 82, studied art at the American Art Academy in Chicago and after graduation, worked for a few years in commercial art.

During vacations, he would return to Ross County to paint. Back in the Windy City, he began selling his work at art fairs and eventually caught the interest of a gallery owner.

"We could see, my wife and I, there were enough sales resulting (from the art) it didn't seem imperative we remain in Chicago and we could pick up stakes and move back to Chillicothe," said.

He and his wife, Joy, have called it home since 1964.

Gough has traveled and painted in places such as Whittier, Calif.; Clearwater Beach, Fla.; and the Laurentian Mountains in Canada.

"But I ways felt like I was a tourist and was looking at things from the outside," he said.

In other words, there's no place like home.

"It just made an indelible impression on me," he said. "It became more than a place. I felt connected."

Tim Keny, owner of Keny Galleries, said Gough's work has a transcendent quality.

"It's very precise and yet it's very abstract at the same time," Keny said.

"The underlying pictorial structure of the work is very sophisticated," he said.

"And, I think they're powerful and stay with you," Keny said.

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