‘Kria’, (Swedish for ‘school assignment’), features new paintings and explores the themes of repetition, the act of looking and the passing of time. In gallery one, a suite of large scale-paintings of equal size are divided into day and night and are all inspired by the same drawing.
The daytime works possess the elliptical colour tone of winter’s natural light while the night-time works offer more opaque variations of blackness. The paintings reveal stark combinations of colour and texture. Thinly applied paint in subdued tones of green, blue, grey and ochre sit alongside pronounced areas of thick impasto. Built up in fragments and rendered in a variety of loose and controlled applications of oil paint, each painting contains elements of representation and abstraction and resembles both topographical maps and gestural abstractions.
The paintings are a window to nature and prolonged examination uncovers trees, earth and rock formations in the compositions. In the darker paintings, oil is applied to un-primed canvas resulting in a rich, build-up of colour shades. Like the development of an analogue photograph, the paintings appear to be slowly coming to the surface through a foreground of darkness.
In gallery two, Eriksson presents a series of small-scale paintings entitled ‘Skolk’, (Swedish for ‘truancy’). Compositionally, these works are not mapped out ahead of time. Instead, instincts and intuition play a part in how the artist interprets nature on any given day. These paintings are a testament to the simple joy Eriksson derives from applying paint to a surface.
In the artist’s own words, this exhibition confronts “…the contemporary problem of trying to create something original.” Eriksson’s strength lies in his ability to elicit a palpable sense of texture and place, both in nature and his studio. And by relying on serendipity and chance, the artist elicits new discoveries and opportunities in his paintings.