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John Erickson at Phillips Gallery


Ecstasy and Oblivion, John Erickson

Painting & Drawing Professor John Erickson shows new work in an exhibition opening Friday, May 21, from 6-9pm at Phillips Gallery. Visit the show through June 11.

"John Erickson's grasp of academic realism and Renaissance space is nothing short of masterful. At the same time, his love for postmodern, intuitive impulses is manifest. We see a push and pull between chaos and order that plays out on his canvases, creating a visual tension that makes his work exciting.

During the past year, Erickson has focused on putting his own filter on both societal tensions and the scenery found on his bicycle commute. He has approached this subject matter with his usual blend of Renaissance realism and postmodern intuition.

"I build each painting beginning with a substructure of mixed media arriving at an abstracted state. Three-dimensional volume is described in paint and flat compositional elements are dominated by applied paper collage. Both paint and paper fight for dominance in a visual debate with incongruent voices. The design can be said to have occurred accidentally. I intend to see how close I can come to failure and still get back to meaning.”

Erickson’s work pushes us as viewers to the edge of our comfort zones, yet leaves us so intrigued that we feel compelled to gaze at each piece in an attempt to digest his complexity of academic thought, feeling and intuition."

Read more about Erickson's exhibition in the 15 Bytes article by Geoff Wichert!

Pictured: Ecstasy and Oblivion, John Erickson, 2021, mixed media, 36 x 36 in.