Ted Gast is an American artist whom some describe as neo-fauve, but he prefers to describe his goals as repurposed industrial waste and sustainability. A prime example is Danube; a tonal study painted using only indigo and white. Rhein a 48″ x 144″ mural depicting the River Rhine from its source in the Alps through Germany to its delta in Holland in the North Sea is another example of Gast’s work.
Always interested in new uses for old materials, as a part time inventor and with the aid of a partner, Gast has recently formed a company to produce high quality post consumer cotton paper from repurposed textiles and rags. Ted cites his five most influential artists as Kandinsky, Cezanne, Matisse, Chagall and Swiss painter Paul Klee. By coincidence Regensburg in Bavaria has also produced the latest pope, Benedict XVI.
Ted comes from the heartland of the country, in the heart of industries laid to waste by the changing global economy. Ted has taken it all to heart and tried to find a way to repurpose the lost industrial majesty. He expresses himself with bold colors and a variety of repurposed materials. First exposed to the works of Kandinsky and the Blaue Reiter in Munich and Venice, Ted paints in the style of the abstract expressionists. His work is propelled by a childlike play of shape and color, and often displays an underlying mathematical formula or element of chemistry.
Gast has spent a lifetime admiring art and the last ten years participating in the field. He has been strongly influenced by his German heritage – both sides of his family emigrated from Germany to St Louis, and he is only the 3rd generation to be born in this country. An appreciation for art runs in the family – his great-great grandfather was an immigrant to St. Louis from Trier, Germany and was an ecclesiastical sculptor.
Gast himself was born in St. Louis, MO in 1957. At the age of twenty he spent a year of study in Bavaria at Regensburg studying chemistry, the German language and linguistics. Travel during that year sparked Mr. Gast’s life long interest in the arts. Gast visited some the finest Art museums in Munich and Europe. He traveled extensively, visiting areas as diverse as Spain, Morocco, Istanbul, and Scandinavia. As well as to Paris, Vienna, and behind the Iron Curtain to Belgrade and Rila Monastery, Berlin and Budapest. The influence of Bavaria, riparian Regensburg and the Danube are still apparent in Gast’s work, and dovetail with his own origins along the Mississippi river in St. Louis.
The fall of communism intensified the feeling of the end of ideologies. No matter what artists attempt to do art has ceased to be anti-establishment or revolutionary. Everything seems to have been done. Content merely with color and light Fauvism has again come into fashion.
Ted lives in Richmond Heights with his wife of 23 years, two teenage children –a boy (17) and girl (15), one dog and two cats.
Ferrier, Jean-louis. The Fauves:The Reign of Colour. Finest-SA/Edititions Pierre Terrail, Paris c 1992.
- Why is Matisse my favorite painter? (mysterysim.wordpress.com)