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DUET: PAINTINGS BY JENNIFER LI AND NICHOLAS OBERLING


Front Cover: Nicholas Oberling, “Stormy Afternoon, Palace of Fine Arts”, oil/canvas, 24”x36” Jennifer Li, “The Little Prince”, oil/panel, 20”x30” Back Cover: Nicholas Oberling, “Juncos and Honeysuckles”, oil/canvas, 32”x24” © 2013 Gallery Bergelli. All rights reserved. 483 Magnolia Avenue, Larkspur, CA 94939 www.bergelli.com, 415-945-9454


Oberling and Li have achieved national recognition and are well-respected and prominent participants in the art scene of their resident state of Montana. Li grew up on the West Coast and Oberling on the East Coast. They met while studying at the Art Students League in New York City. They settled in Kalispell in Montana’s scenic Flathead Valley, in 1998. While studying in New York, their love of Flemish and Dutch golden age painters inspired their artistic development. There, they refined their highly skillful oil painting techniques. From metal etchings, they created oil inspirations that reflected their love of nature and the whimsical. While the artist’s both display an unparalleled skill sharing similar techniques, their work depicts no similarity in theme. Ms. Li’s figurative paintings are contemporary genre portraits that are intellectually and psychologically compelling. Her subject matter is often of classical figures – human and animal - in scenes that are enlivened by her subtle twist on humor. Each work allows us an opportunity to contemplate an unexpected situation. Li states that “I love the idea of painting everyday things in a loving way. I love the idea of exalting ordinary objects.” Her work has been noted for its color luminosity, imaginative and evocative content and high quality of technique. The New York Times described Jennifer’s portraits as “straightforwardly beautiful” with “an element of the weird.” Observing Nicholas Oberlings’ works, there is no doubt that nature rules. The paintings are conceived entirely in his mind’s eye. The feeling of life, depth and movement come from a combination of the mind working together with the heart, in a very free and spontaneous way. Oberling describes his approach to painting as “I paint from nature, but in an attempt to create a mood, I edit and re-arrange elements of the scene. I’m after something more timeless. After all, the physical paintings will last for hundreds of years, whereas the scenes I paint will change one way or another in a fraction of that time.” Oberling’s paintings reflect a keen observation, bursting forth with wildlife and landscape scenes delivered with a superior level of artistry. Many years of experiencing and inhaling the wonder of nature, often painted in the plein air style, is transported to the canvas in the studied techniques and philosophy, reminiscent of the great painters of the past, including Caspar David Friedrich and Frederic Edwin Church. A California Montana connection exists in this exhibition, as the owner of Gallery Bergelli is herself a native Montanan who relocated to San Francisco in 1992 and later to Marin. She visits Montana often and shares a deep affection for her home state with the artists.


Jennifer Li, “The Small Tip” oil on panel, 12”x16”


“The invented characters of Jennifer Li’s oil paintings have secrets. They stare out from the canvas with Mona Lisa half-smiles or sometimes a slight grimace. -Erika Fredrickson, Missoula Independent JENNIFER LI grew up in Mill Valley, California but her family spent summers at a ranch in Montana. After majoring in literature and philosophy at Bennington and Sarah Lawrence College, she lived, studied, and painted in New York City for nearly twenty years before returning to Montana in 1998. Her work has been featured at the Holter Museum in Helena, Montana, the John Pence Gallery in San Francisco, the Union League Club in New York, and the Hockaday Museum of Art in Kalispell, Montana.

Jennifer Li, “The Ostrich” oil on panel, 12”x16”


Jennifer Li, “The Green Room”

Jennifer Li, “At the Counter”

oil on panel, 9”x12”

oil on panel, 9”x12”


Jennifer Li, “The Tisane”

Jennifer Li, “Four and Twenty Blackbirds”

oil on panel, 9”x12”

oil on panel, 9”x12”


Jennifer Li, “The Ginger Cat” oil on panel,12”x18”


Jennifer Li, “The Wilderness” oil on panel, 16”x25”


Oberling’s personal approach to landscape painting involves both a close study of nature and the free application of his own aesthetic onto the scenes that he observes. His works are densely detailed and highly naturalistic, but the actual scenes they portray are often drawn from his imagination. -Marti Kurth, Flatheadliving Magazine NICHOLAS OBERLING was born in Athens, Greece and grew up in Long Island. His work has been exhibited at the Paris Gibson Square Museum, the Holter Museum of Art, the C. M. Russell Museum, and the Hockaday Museum of Art. His painting Wild Goose Island is in the permanent collection of the Hockaday Museum of Art. He is a founding member of the Montana Painters Alliance. He has been a selected Quick Draw artist and a participant at the C. M. Russell Museum’s Auction of Western Art, as well as the Whitefish Foundation, Bigfork Museum of Art and Culture, Montana Land Reliance, and Lewis and Clark and Treasure State Art Auctions. He has been Artist in Residence at Glacier National Park and the Helena National Forest. He conceived and organized the Hockaday Museum of Art’s Annual Plein Air Paint-Out, and he conceived and organized the Big Hole River in Paint fundraiser, which has had regional and national exposure.


Nicholas Oberling “Muir Beach Dairy Farm”, “Muir Beach Greenhouse”. “Muir Beach Sunset” all oil on canvas, from top to bottom: 24”x28”, 24”x24”, 20”x35”


Nicholas Oberling, “Halcyon Day”

Nicholas Oberling, “Misty Afternoon, Muir Beach”

oil on panel, 24”x36”

oil on panel, 24”x35”


Nicholas Oberling, “Mount Tamalpais from Belvedere”

Nicholas Oberling, “Morning Light, Palace of Fine Arts”

oil on camvas, 24”x36”

oil on panel, 24”x30”


Nicholas Oberling, “Floral with Nuthatch and Sparrows”

Nicholas Oberling, “Sunset”

oil on panel, 32”x24”

oil on panel, 12”x16”



Duet paintings by jennifer li and nicholas oberling