A collection of still life paintings and drawings by the Los Angeles-based artist Gershom will be on display at the Crafton Hills College Art Gallery from February 21 to March 10.

The retrospective exhibition "Precision and Soul" is a contemplation on Robert Musil's thought, "It is not that we have too much intellect and not enough soul, but that we have not enough intellect in matters of the soul." An opening reception will be held on February 21 at 1 p.m., followed by a lecture from Gershom, "Precision and Soul: The Daily Practice of the Painting," at 2 p.m.

Born in the Netherlands, artist Rob Spruijt began to sign his work with his Hebrew name, Gershom, after he moved to the United States and found that people had difficulty pronouncing his last name. Gershom has had exhibits in Amsterdam, Los Angeles, Hollywood, Santa Monica, and Ontario, Canada. He earned his PhD from the University of Amsterdam, and teaches neuropsychology of perception and imagination at Otis College of Art Design and Art Center College of Design.

His exhibition at Crafton Hills College "is a bit unusual in that it shows some of the objects, the preparatory drawings, and the finished paintings," he said. "I hope of course that the viewers will sense some of the psychology or of the mystery I am trying to tap into. And by showing how it is done, the viewer also may understand that a still life painting is not so much a recording what is in the world, but a careful construction of objects telling stories, like actors in a play. The exhibit is not trying to teach how it is done, but it does aim to show that paintings are the evidence of complexity and time."

Gershom's work is evocative of vanitas, traditional still life paintings, and he says his pieces depict objects that "tell stories in paint of shape, texture, light, and color. And in doing so, they tell stories, not of these objects, but of us looking, in wonder and in silence, at simple things we almost overlooked."

The gallery is open Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Crafton Hills College is at 11711 Sand Canyon Road, Yucaipa.