Luis De Jesus Los Angeles is pleased to announce ERIK OLSON: The Mountain and the Sea, a new series of striking and expressive landscape paintings, on view from June 17 - August 5, 2023. This will be the artist’s third solo exhibition with the gallery. An artist reception and exhibition walk-through, led by the artist, will be held on Saturday, July 8, 5-8 PM.
Calgary-based artist Erik Olson is known for his imaginative and innovative approach to painting. Recognized for his powerful portraiture as well as his deeply personal explorations of landscape and color, his work utilizes scale to express the larger context of the human experience.
The Mountain and the Sea brings nuance to plein air painting as Olson experiments with the genre’s history and potential for suspending a moment outdoors amidst the unpredictable and rapidly changing elements of nature. Recognized for his powerful portraiture as well as his deeply personal explorations of landscape and color, his work utilizes scale to express the larger context of the human experience. In The Mountain and the Sea, Olson presents seven, six-foot studio paintings that translate, expand, and complement 40 small plein air paintings that he ambitiously composed during his months-long project in Southern Spain. The series brings to life the emotional and psychological relationship—a deep appreciation and connectedness with nature—that evolved between the artist and his engagement with the land during daily hikes from the seaside up into the mountains of Andalusia. Olson has been developing this body of work since his initial trip to the region in 2021. Additionally, eight black and white dry point etchings are included in the project.
The complex terrain, vegetation, and color of the mountain landscapes spilling into the sea provide a natural atelier, one deeply etched by geological and human history. This landscape, undergoing constant metamorphosis, conflict, and renewal over the ages, is captured in experiential images of the present in Olson's paintings. The series reminds us to simply celebrate the sublime essence of the natural environment while capturing the diversity of the Mediterranean climate, flora, and fauna, which bear a striking resemblance to the dramatic and rugged landscape of California.
Olson manages to create depth with watercolor-like turpentine washes, impasto, and sometimes clumps of paint, which, combined with the presence of natural debris, ground us into the present and push the boundaries of space and time. The use of conflicting mark-making techniques is a testament to Olson’s direct engagement with the landscape, intertwined with a profoundly personal understanding of color and brushwork. His commitment to the quick, light, and loose brush strokes of historical plein air paintings is an attribute of the series and expresses the spontaneity of the artist’s impulses and the spirit of the method.
Erik Olson (b. 1982) received his BFA from Emily Carr University of Art + Design in 2007 and was a guest student of Peter Doig at Kunstakademie Düsseldorf in 2016. Most recently, Olson was the subject of a solo exhibition, Wildflowers at Viviane Art in Calgary. Other solo exhibitions include Through the States (2020) and L.A. Paintings (2017) at Luis De Jesus Los Angeles; Deep Field (2019) at BravinLee Programs in New York; and Hold The Line (2018) at Michael Gibson Gallery, Ontario, among others. Group exhibitions include Beholden (2022), Art Gallery of Alberta, Edmonton; Uncomfortable Friends (2022), Aura Kunstraum, Düsseldorf; Entanglement (2022), BravinLee Programs, New York; Bühne 69e (2021), Gladbacher Strasse 69, Düsseldorf; I've got a good mind to give up living and go shopping instead (2019), Luis De Jesus Los Angeles; Fast Forward (2019), Birch Contemporary, Toronto; and, A Portrait Show (2019), Viviane Art, Calgary. He has participated in artist residencies at the La Brea Artist Residency in Los Angeles (2017 and 2018), and the Sanskriti Artist Residency in New Delhi (2010). Olson lives and works in Calgary, Canada.
For further information, including images and previews, please call 213-395-0762, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Luis De Jesus Los Angeles is located at 1110 Mateo Street, Los Angeles, CA 90021. www.luisdejesus.com