Erik Olson (’07) is currently exhibiting New Portraits at BravinLee programs in New York City. This is Erik’s first solo exhibition in the United States and runs to November 30, 2013.
New Portraits consists of 21 paintings and five wood sculptures. Erik paints portraits of his friends, using a loaded brush and lots of saturated color. He creates fractal-like shifting planes, building a discontinuity of space and structure. In the process, the likeness and psychology of the sitter remains inexplicably unharmed. The surfaces are composed of thinly applied fields of color and thick loaded-up brushstrokes. The elements of the surfaces seem to be moving in multiple directions simultaneously. It is as if they are spinning through space being formed tectonically by their own gravitational pull while opposing rotational forces are ripping them apart.
The exhibition also includes five wood sculptures, which are more raw and abstract than the paintings. While the paintings are portraits of actual people, the sculptures are more like portraits of the paintings.
Erik Olson was recently named to the short-list for “100 Painters of Tomorrow,” a competition culminating in an exhibition at London’s Institute of Contemporary Arts and a book published by Thames and Hudson. The competition is juried by Cecily Brown, Sir Norman Rosenthal, Yuko Hasegawa, Gregor Muir, Suzanne Cotter, Suzanne Hudson, Philip Tinari and Barry Schwabsky.