We are thrilled to present Erik Olson’s first solo exhibition with the Michael Gibson Gallery. Olson’s new paintings included in “The Dance” are inspired by late classical and early modern dance imagery. Olson used 1950’s black and white ballet textbooks as his source material, injecting the figures with electric colours and abstracting the classical poses. Through careful study, Olson has explored the architecture of the body and its parallel with classical dance.
With bold colour and exuberant brushwork, Erik Olson combines classically based portraiture with a modernist’s impulse. At once playful, genuine and expressionistic, his paintings depict amplified characters and spaces emerging as if from dreams. Fragmented figures, objects and places culled from diverse and disparate sources are reassembled as cohesive visions of reality. Seemingly frenetic at first glance, the compositions are revealed to have a surprisingly harmonious asymmetry.
Born in Calgary in 1982, Erik Olson graduated from the Emily Carr University of Art & Design. His work has been exhibited at the National Portrait Gallery of England, Glenbow Museum, Calgary, Art Gallery of Calgary, and the Scottish National Portrait Gallery. Several paintings are in the public collection of the Alberta Foundation for the Arts, as well as numerous private and corporate collections.
Olson was recently shortlisted along with 400 other artists for the “100 Painters of Tomorrow” project, an initiation to find the most 100 exciting painters working today by publishers Thames & Hudson.