Robert Erickson

As Erickson talks about his work, he refers to the physicality of making art. His relationship to the paper or panel on which he creates, the feel of the paint and ink, the gesture of hand or arm or torso needed to make the mark are all essential components of the final image. Experiences in the Irish countryside has profoundly influenced the creation of these works of art that drip with the waters of fog and rain, swirl out of the dense mists, harden in the biting cold, or pile up like a stone wall. The tactile grit and grace of the world that compels Erickson is more the subject of his art than any exact artifact of man or nature.

Erickson creates his images using any technique that can help him achieve the sense of a thing becoming or eroding before our eyes. He may employ drawing, or monoprint, or painting. He combines techniques frequently: drawing on Mylar before creating a plate for printing, soaking and stretching a print in order to paint on it, or sketching an idea in wire and tar before capturing it in two dimensions.

As Erickson makes an image, he creates an experience of a thing unique to that work of art. His marks engage the control of decades of training but also employ chance events of ink or paint. He intends his creative process to emulate the processes happening on the shore, along the road, or in the woods. Each piece is an experiment or an investigation and when it succeeds, the art is the record of the questions asked that day.

Some of Erickson's works evoke columns of smoke, bubbles, or cairns of piled stone. In nature, smoke, stones, bubbles all bind together with complex physics. There is an order to the way the physical objects hang together. And as their order becomes apparent in Erickson's image, we can hover in the moment before the smoke will vanish, the bubble will burst or the stones will tumble. In each finished work of art, Erickson gives us something that can never be finished or something that is always becoming something else or something that will never change.

Seana Thir I, oil on paper, 6x4

Seana Thir II, monoprint, 8x6

Seana Thir III, oil on paper, 8x6

Seana Thir IV, oil on paper, 16x12

Natura XI, oil on panel, 94x60

Natura LXV, oil on panel, 96x94

Arch, oil on panel, 68x30