Mark Erickson

Mark Erickson is an American painter. The appeal in Mark’s painting is partly due to its spontaneous unchecked expression of energy. The surface is very sensual. You get the feeling of the artist’s physical involvement with the canvas in the creative process, especially in recent paintings which seem to invert the painting process. The surface of the canvas is covered with what feels like textured pigment of the darkest black, a varied bright color and some with gold leaf applied. Beneath the surface are the markings of a painting underneath. Our imagination must reconstruct the painting from what is only hinted at. Looking at these works is like discovering Pompeii beneath ancient lava as though the paint was pulled from the canvas to reveal its underside. Mark’s canvases are a fine example of the archeological approach to contemporary painting.

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His work originated in theory from Abstract Expressionism, where at mid 20th Century, was a groundbreaking revolution in American art, it now becomes a rich tradition and point of departure. Influences of painters of the 1950s are evident in Mark’s work, yet the direction is Erickson’s own, clearly felt as the paintings breath the fresh air of contemporary thought. The works on metal appear as if somehow you abstracted a modern day color cartoon, word bubbles and all, twisted and turned it inside out.

The Dutch/American painter William DeKooning once noted that all paintings are in the long run either landscapes, portraits or still lifes. In Erickson’s work, they are decidedly landscapes, but the terrain traveled is  sometimes uncharted and is as internal as it is external.

Mark Erickson was born in Hollywood, California. His early education was completed in California, Germany and Italy. He is a product of his experience on both continents and a family history combining the traditions of East Coast aestheticism and Wild West freedom. His mother and grandmother were New York artists. They studied under Hans Hoffman and knew Franz Kline before & after World War II. Erickson’s father was an jet aircraft designer and pilot, his father’s father a cowboy and a Marshal in the Dakota Territory.

Sometimes the paintings have a more urban energy with whirring colors flying across a brightly lit metropolis. The shapes, so perfectly formed, propel the pigment off the surface of the canvas. Erickson, transforming the flat plane, breathes life and depth into his paintings and pulls the viewer into the experience. He does this by modulating color against color and form against form in such a way that you feel you can travel within the work. It is easy to see his quick progression in experimenting with differing aesthetic issues and emerging with his own very original and individual voice.

Recent Paintings

Traditional art, before the 20th Century, had as its principal goal to reproduce the visible world with the maximum amount of verisimilitude (what the French called vraisemblance) the probability and quality that art can appear real and arrive from truth. Artists responses were often limited to their subject matter. With the invention of the camera, artists were no longer  responsible for replicating their world. At the same time, advances in science and the introduction of psychotherapy revealed to humans the fact that the world consists of a great deal more than we see before us. (Einstein’s ‘Theory of Relativity’ was introduced in 1905.) Movements, patterns and rhythms are a part of everything in nature, from the microscopic level to the juxtaposition of the planets.
A new visual language was bound to happen and did—most notably with the work of Pablo Picasso discovering the use of assemblage and collage in his work. Around 1912, Picasso went a step further, combining cubism with collage in works like ‘Still Life with Chair Caning’ in which he affixed an oilcloth–itself printed with an image of chair caning–to his canvas. While it didn’t depict any actual scene in nature, this new vocabulary of painting mixed with collage, balancing tones and shapes, was so pleasing and instinctively “natural” that it broke through new boundaries of what was accepted in art.

With the beginning of the 20th Century witnessing two cataclysmic wars, the world was reeling from the horrors of human military conflict and the disillusionment with the promise of the Industrial Revolution. The planet wide hardships brought on by the Depression and shifts in world economics, a time of change was occurring, and one singular event being watched by many was the center of the art world being spotlighted to New York City from Paris. Abstract Expressionism, in which the artist worked out complex communications directly onto the canvas became the order of the day. “The need”, as Robert Motherwell put it, “was for felt experience—intense, immoderate, direct, subtle, unified, warm, vivid, rhythmic.” Those who were beginning to understand this non-literal language of painting were struck at the core. The language of abstraction was validated and artists were completely freed to develop its vocabulary and explore its possibilities.

The paintings that Mark Erickson offers are interpretations of this same abstract language refined to high eloquence. A mid career, disciplined artist, Erickson offers a different approach to abstraction in his paintings that have the essential elements of harmony, light and contrast.

Besides influences of Willem DeKooning, Mark’s paintings are often inspired by Pierre Matisse. Working in Collioure, in the South of France, Matisse became fascinated with the strong verticals and horizontals created by the bright sun streaming in through the windows bouncing into his studio. His exaggerations of the those lines created paintings magnificent in their structure and divisions of space. Richard Diebenkorn was also inspired by these works. Erickson’s large painting studio in Oakland where sunlight pours through windows gives him a chance to experiment with light and paint, casting shadows and similar effects on the walls of the painting area. Playing with reflections and color, mixing paint at random, Erickson captures a static energy in his new works. Mark presents to us a new and exciting group of paintings whose structure, color and form are uninhibitedly direct.

CV

MARK ERICKSON
Born in Hollywood, CA
Studio in Oakland, CA

EDUCATION

  • San Francisco Art Institute – MFA Painting
  • San Francisco Art Institute – BFA Painting
  • University of San Francisco, CA
  • San Francisco Art Academy, San Francisco, CA
  • International School of Torino, Italy
  • US Air Force School, Munich, Germany

GROUP EXHIBITIONS

  • 2011 Pacific Lutheran University,’Voyages of Discovery’ Tacoma, WA.
  • 2011 Toomey Tourell Fine Art, ‘Red’ San Francisco, CA
  • 2011 Inclusion Gallery, San Francisco, CA
  • 2010 Marion Meyer Contemporary Art, Laguna Beach, CA
  • 2010 Robert Green Fine Arts, Mill Valley, CA
  • 2009 Eddie Rhodes Gallery – Contra Costa College, CA
  • 2009 Donna Seager Gallery, San Rafael, CA
  • 2009 Somarts Gallery ‘Corrections’ San Francisco, CA
  • 2009Eddie Rhodes Gallery ‘Going North – Nordic 5’ Contra Costa College, San Pablo, CA
  • 2008 Art Modern Gallery, Naples, Florida
  • 2008 Donna Seager Gallery, San Rafael, CA
  • 2008 Toomey Tourell Fine Art, ‘Ten Group Show’ San Francisco, CA
  • 2008 Marion Meyer Contemporary Art, Laguna Beach, CA
  • 2008 Robert Green Fine Arts, Mill Valley, CA
  • 2008 Donna Seager Gallery, San Rafael, CA
  • 2007 Angela King Gallery, New Orleans, LA
  • 2007 Donna Seager Gallery, San Rafael, CA
  • 2007 Brisbane City Hall Gallery ‘The Johnson Collection’ Brisbane, CA
  • 2006 Vasker Hespen Gallery, Frankfurt, Germany
  • 2006 Donna Seager Gallery, San Rafael, CA
  • 2005 Marion Meyer Contemporary Art, Laguna Beach, CA
  • 2005 Donna Seager Gallery, San Rafael, CA
  • 2005 Giorgi Gallery – ‘Nordic Arts 2005’ – Berkeley, CA
  • 2005 Pushing Boundaries – Atrium Gallery, San Francisco CA
  • 2004 Marion Meyer Contemporary Art, Laguna Beach, CA
  • 2004 In Defense of Liberty, Pro Arts Gallery, Oakland, CA
  • 2004 Toomey Tourell Fine Art, San Francisco, CA
  • 2004 Robert Green Fine Arts, Mill Valley, CA
  • 2003 Odd Fellows Gallery, ‘The Group’ San Francisco, CA
  • 2003 The Atrium Gallery, Nordic 5 Arts, San Francisco, CA
  • 2003 Gualala Arts Center, Gualala, CA
  • 2003 John O’Lague Gallery-Hayward City Hall, Hayward, CA
  • 2002 Robert Green Fine Arts, Mill Valley, CA
  • 2001 Toomey Tourell Fine Art, San Francisco, CA
  • 2001 Robert Green Fine Arts, Mill Valley, CA
  • 2001 Pro Arts Gallery, Oakland, CA
  • 2000 Alta Bates Gallery, Berkeley, CA
  • 2000 Robert Green Fine Arts, Mill Valley, CA
  • 2000 Toomey Tourell Fine Art, San Francisco, CA
  • 1999 Berkeley Art Center, Berkeley, CA
  • 1999 Toomey Tourell Fine Art, San Francisco, CA
  • 1999 Robert Green Fine Arts, Mill Valley, CA
  • 1998 Sightings Gallery, San Francisco, CA
  • 1998 Berkeley Art Center, Berkeley, CA
  • 1998 Toomey Tourell Fine Art, San Francisco, CA
  • 1998 Brave Dog Gallery, Seattle, WA
  • 1997 Sightings Gallery, San Francisco, CA
  • 1997 Toomey Tourell Fine Art, San Francisco, CA
  • 1997 Magidson Fine Arts, NY, NY
  • 1997 Pier 23, San Francisco, CA
  • 1996 Huntington Beach Art Center, Huntington Beach, CA
  • 1996 Michael Thompson Gallery, San Francisco, CA
  • 1996 Robert Green Fine Arts, Mill Valley, CA
  • 1996 Sightings Gallery, San Francisco, CA
  • 1995 M.A.Doran Gallery, Tulsa, OK
  • 1995 Robert Green Fine Arts, Mill Valley, CA
  • 1995 Michael Thompson Gallery, San Francisco, CA
  • 1994 Robert Green Fine Arts, Ross, CA
  • 1994 Art Explosion Gallery, San Francisco, CA
  • 1994 Somar Gallery, San Francisco, CA
  • 1992 Albright Knox Member’s Gallery, NY, NY
  • 1991 Access Gallery, NY, NY
  • 1991 Albright Knox Member’s Gallery, NY, NY
  • 1989 Access Gallery, NY, NY City, NY
  • 1988 International Artist Cooperation, Dallas, TX
  • 1987 Kansas Street Gallery, San Francisco, CA
  • 1986 Gallery West, Los Angeles, CA
  • 1986 Navarro College, Corsicanna, TX
  • 1986 Visual Arts Center, Anchorage, AK
  • 1985 Allied Arts Gallery, Las Vegas, NV
  • 1985 California State University, San Bernardino, CA
  • 1985 Georgetown Fine Art, Washington, D.C.
  • 1985 Haines Gallery, San Francisco, CA
  • 1984 Tokyo Art Museum, Tokyo, Japan
  • 1984 New York Art Expo, NYC, NY
  • 1983 Source Gallery, San Francisco, CA
  • 1983 Duboce Gallery, Houston, TX
  • 1982 Source Gallery, San Francisco, CA
  • 1982 Roosevelt Contemporary Art Show, San Francisco, CA
  • 1981 Introductions – Source Gallery, San Francisco, CA
  • 1980 San Francisco Art Festival, San Francisco, CA
  • 1979 San Francisco Art Academy, San Francisco, CA
  • 1979 Sacramento Painting Exhibit, Sacramento, CA
  • 1979 Response Gallery, San Francisco, CA
  • 1978 Stockton Art Museum National Print Show, Stockton, CA
  • 1977 San Francisco Art Institute, Diego Rivera Gallery, San Francisco, CA

SOLO EXHIBITIONS

  • 2011 Robert Green Fine Arts ‘Revival’ Mill Valley, CA
  • 2009 Robert Green Fine Arts ‘Paintings Under the Influence’ Mill Valley, CA
  • 2007 Marion Meyer Contemporary Art ‘Ultima Thule’ Laguna Beach, CA
  • 2006 Robert Green Fine Arts ‘New Directions’ Mill Valley, CA
  • 2003 Donna Seager Gallery ‘New Abstraction’ San Rafael, CA
  • 2002 Marion Meyer Contemporary Art, ‘The Lights Plain’ Laguna Beach
  • 2001 Robert Green Fine Arts, Mill Valley, CA
  • 2000 Epperson Gallery ‘Rocket Metal Works’ Crocket, CA
  • 2000 Robert Green Fine Arts ‘One Man’s View’ Mill Valley, CA
  • 1999 Toomey Tourell Fine Art, ‘Rocket Metal Works’ San Francisco, CA
  • 1998 Robert Green Fine Arts, Mill Valley, CA
  • 1998 Brave Dog Gallery ‘RMW 98’ Seattle, WA
  • 1997 Robert Green Fine Arts, Mill Valley, CA
  • 1997 Pier 23, San Francisco, CA
  • 1996 Robert Green Fine Arts, Mill Valley, CA
  • 1995 Robert Green Fine Arts, Mill Valley, CA
  • 1995 Angela King Gallery, New Orleans, LA
  • 1994 Robert Green Fine Arts, Ross, CA
  • 1992 Grand Hyatt – Presidential Inauguration Painting Installation, SFCA
  • 1991 Access Gallery, NY, NY
  • 1989 Access Gallery, NY, NY
  • 1988 Angela King Gallery, New Orleans, LA
  • 1987 Ecco Gallery, San Francisco, CA
  • 1986 Copy Rose Gallery, San Francisco, CA
  • 1985 Ecco Gallery, San Francisco, CA
  • 1983 Source Gallery, San Francisco, CA

PUBLICATIONS

  • Press 1 – New York City, New York May 2011
  • Collagista Magazine, Romania January 2011
  • Polaroid Magazine, Vienna, Austria 2009
  • Venezia Arts, Venice, Italy 2009
  • Oakland Tribune 2007
  • San Francisco Chronicle 2007
  • New Orleans Magazine 2007
  • Southern California Arts 2005
  • USA Today October 2005
  • Interior Design Magazine July 2004
  • Tulsa Interiors 2001
  • Oklahoma Arts 1998
  • San Francisco Chronicle 1996
  • Tokyo Art Journal May 1996
  • Robb Report November 1995
  • San Francisco Examiner June 1995
  • Art Monthly February 1995
  • Marin Independent Journal January 1995
  • Racer Magazine November 1994
  • Art News Magazine Summer Issue 1994
  • Robb Report September 1994
  • Pacific Sun May 1994
  • San Francisco Examiner June 1995
  • Marin Independent Journal September 1992
  • New York Times August 1989
  • New Orleans Magazine 1988
  • Marin Independent Journal September 1985
  • San Francisco Examiner July 1981

COLLECTIONS

  • William Jefferson Clinton Presidential Center, Little Rock, AR
  • AT&T, Hayward, CA
  • Duty Free Corporation, San Francisco, CA
  • Lewis Galoob Toys Inc. Half Moon Bay, CA
  • Syntrex Corporation, San Francisco, CA
  • Will Clark, San Francisco Giants, Texas Rangers, St. Louis Cardinals
  • Dewey Bunnell, (America), Los Angeles, CA
  • Horst Frankel, Munich, Germany
  • R.A.B. Mercedes Motor Co., San Rafael, CA
  • Screen Gems Films, Hollywood, CA
  • President Bill & Hillary Clinton, New York City, NY.
  • Larry & Edith Tucci, Modesto, CA
  • Jerry & Deborah Garcia, Mill Valley, CA
  • Herb Caen, San Francisco, CA
  • Chemicon International, Temecula, CA
  • Leo Steenbergen, Antwerp, Belgium
  • Epicurean International, Oakland, CA
  • Rusty Kavendeck, Chino Valley, AZ
  • Mark Robyn & Nancy Picket, Mill Valley, CA
  • Vice President Al & Tipper Gore, Washington D.C.
  • Ed & Jean Wintroub, Omaha, NE
  • Ellen & Jon Winer, Rome, OH.
  • Steve & Lynne Stephenson, Big Sky, MT
  • Christopher Choe, Singapore
  • Manfred Osterman, Witten, Germany
  • Redwood Trust, Mill Valley, CA
  • Deutsche Vermogensberatung A.G., Frankfurt, Germany
  • Lorie & Vince Welnick, Forestville, CA
  • William & Linda Werner, Phoenix, AZ.
  • Bank of Florida, Miami, FL
  • Christine & Robert Gehres, Westwood, NJ
  • Jim Marshal, San Francisco, CA
  • Barbara Dallis, Wellesley, MA
  • Angela King & Julie Jacobs, New Orleans, LA
  • Tom Aberle, Stanford, CT
  • Harold Schlebush, Bonn, Germany
  • Stephen Kipp, Ventura, CA
  • Andreas & Jacqueline Pohl, Marburg, Germany
  • Dr. Robert Nachtigal, San Francisco, CA
  • Linda & Skip O’Neil, Lake Oswego, OR
  • Ann & Jim Benson, Oro Valley, AZ
  • Rose & Ed Cherney, Venice, CA
  • Phillip Rogers, London, England
  • John & Patti Kepplemen, Bellingham, WA
  • S Clay Wilson, San Francisco, CA.
  • Marthaʼs Restaurant, Key West, FL
  • James & Therese Sturdevant, San Rafael, CA
  • Harlan Dam, Naples, FL
  • Karl & Suzanne Ockens, Santa Barbara, CA
  • Mara Brazer, Mill Valley, CA
  • Barbara & Thomas Sands, New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Kati & John Casida, Berkeley, CA
  • Andrew & Judy Bell, St. Louis, Missouri
  • Dr. Michael Slater, Queensland, Australia
  • Robin & Michael Winton, El Cerrito, CA
  • Anne & Edward Smith, Oakland, CA.
  • Kevin & Marlene Kissell, Le Bar sur Loup, France
  • John & Rosalyn Jensen, Kensington, CA
  • David Tise, Bangkok, Thailand
  • Barbara Wieland & Jerry Mark, San Francisco, CA
  • Daniel & Maria Loyens, The Hague, Netherlands
  • Neal & Jane Lozins, San Francisco, CA
  • David & Julie Moyne, Belvedere, CA
  • Mike OʼBrien & Ken Filoso, Oakland, CA
  • Alan Keith, Industrial Light & Magic, San Rafael, CA
  • Mark McGwire, Oakland Athletics, St. Louis Cardinals
  • Joanne & Elliot Mercer, Newport Beach, CA
  • Suzy Golt & ML Oxford, San Anselmo, CA
  • Philip Lurie, La Jolla , CA
  • Renee & David Sacks, Corona Del Mar, CA
  • Clara & Paul Johnson, Brisbane, CA
  • John Grillo, Wellfleet, MA
  • Karl & Georgette Kasten, Berkeley, CA.
  • Jason Richardson, Golden State Warriors, Phoenix Suns, Orlando Magic
  • Morgan Lewis Law, San Francisco, CA
  • Stephen Halperin, New York City, NY
  • Krstiann & Peter Davis Schoening, Mercer Island, WA
  • Bruce Conner, San Francisco, CA
  • Trautman Saunders Law Offices, Laguna Beach, CA
  • Katy Zartl (Katworks Graphics) Vienna, Austria
  • Michael Bishop – UCSF Chancellor – 1991 Nobel Prize in Medicine
  • Andrew Stewart & Darlis Wood, Berkeley, CA.

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