UR Artist Expert In Several Mediums
by Virginia Jeffrey Smith
© 1957, Reprinted from the Rochester Times Union, Rochester, New York

William Ehrich Uses Varied Materials Equally Well; His Sculptures, Ceramics, Drawings and Enamels on View at Fine Arts Gallery
William Ehrich of the Memorial Gallery and University of Rochester staffs needs no introduction to Rochester art lovers. A one-man show of his work, which includes sculpture both in stone and wood, ceramics, enamels and drawings, is in the Fine Arts Department gallery in the basement of Rush Rhees Library.

Mr. Ehrich is a true artist whatever his medium. The medium determines his concept so that there is never conflict between them. If he is using field stone, he tries to bring out the best but he never makes it look like alabaster. With wood his method is determined by the grain and quality.

In other words, his creations seem to grow out of the raw material in a natural and orderly fashion without undue forcing and the finshed product is a complete entity, as if it had developed in an evolutionary manner.

That does not mean that he does not have complete mastery over his material but that concept and medium work together. It is a very happy faculty and one which many artists lack.

His pencil drawings are done with economy of line and fine feeling of form. They remind one of some of Picasso's - a line firm and flowing which expresses action in three-dimensional way.

His ceramics and enamels, too, have a sculptural quality. There is a very charming "Mother and Child" in ceramic sculpture glazed in color.

We are told that he has taken up welded sculpture recently and that he likes it, but we hope that does not mean that he will substitute it for these earlier forms which are so satisfying.

Most of the work shown is rather small in size - perhaps in keeping with the size of the gallery.

When Mr. Ehrich came to this country in 1929 from his native Königsberg after a rigorous art training in Germany, he taught in Buffalo at the Art Institute and directed the Federal Art Project. Since coming to Memorial Gallery he has won for himself a proud place in the city both as a teacher and sculptor.

It is an exhibition well worth a visit. When you go, note how his technique varies to fit the requirements of the fieldstone, terra cotta, black marble, alabaster, lead, ebony, basswood, limestone, lignum vitae or fruit wood, each of which he uses with equal facility.