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Revenge of the Exquisite Corpse (& other Zombies)

Andrew Erickson 

July 16 — September 11, 2022
Opening Reception July 16, 2022

High Low*

*Walk-in gallery visits to High Low are open to the public during regular hours of High Low, every day from 8am to 3pm. Private gallery visits can be made for all galleries by appointment with COVID-19 mitigation policies in place. To make an appointment, and for questions or concerns, please contact  [email protected] or (314) 533-0367 ext. 105. 

ARTIST STATMENT

For decades Andrew Erickson has been working to master watercolor. Photorealism with bright, expressionistic color, creating a dream-like effect. Mostly landscapes, large scale, intimate in scope. Here, this “new” artistic trajectory revisits the 1980’s when the undergrad art student trend was to sarcastically steal from modernism. Naturally, he ripped-off the surrealists.

Some render dreams with the crisp realism of photos. He came to love the abstract camp like Arp or Miro, directly inviting the subconscious into making art. Methods of automatism: collage, rubbings, printing, dripping, etc., are used to generate imagery. Like looking at ink blots, compositions inspired by actively finding & developing forms from randomness.

His automatism: sitting before a subject (TV, usually), responding on one page, drawing blind contours (edges). Quick lines layered superimposing one over the next. Reading imagery into this matrix, clarifying forms. Weird visual poetry emerges from each.

To his surrealist heroes, he gives the “exquisite corpse” treatment. “Portraits”, dividing the line drawing into a grid, each square becomes its own composition, connecting back with the whole. 

Translating these into three dimensional paintings, handmade paper is cast onto a temporary armature, painted with acrylics, then oils. The resulting low relief tableau, imaginary landscapes generated from Andrew’s subconscious, are an amalgam of a lifetime of pop culture consumption, Japanese monster movies, underground comics, animated cartoons, graffiti, and nerdy interests (like astrophysics & paleontology).


ARTIST BIO

Andrew focused his studies on painting, and as a professional has specialized in watercolor. Mostly large scale, the work describes landscape with neo-realism, combined with bright, expressionist color, evoking a dreamlike character. Currently, he works with mixed media, semi-sculptural paintings of varying scale. Overtly surrealist, these more abstract works are created through a self-developed process of casting handmade paper over temporary armature, then painting in successive layers of acrylic and oil paint.

For over 35 years, Andrew has taught extensively in the St. Louis region, serving a wide variety of students ranging in age, background, and experience. He designed and taught classes, primarily drawing and painting, part-time at the St. Louis Art Museum, Craft Alliance, Laumeier Sculpture Park, St. Louis Community College Florissant Valley and Forest Park, among others. During the 1990’s Andrew was the art teacher for St. Vincent’s Home, Normandy, MO. 

On the University level, Andrew has designed and facilitated courses in painting (oils and watercolor), design, advanced and beginning drawing, for both undergraduate and graduate students. 

Andrew has been an adjunct lecturer at Fontbonne University, and currently teaches as an adjunct instructor at St. Louis Community College-Meramec, and Washington University in St. Louis. 

In addition to painting and teaching, Andrew has had a wide range of professional experience, being continually self-employed as a freelance artist for hire. He has worked on projects ranging from graphic design, video production, art direction, set and promotional design, illustration of various types, specializing in humorous and editorial styles. Specifically cartoons, caricatures, parody and satiric graphic narrative. For two years he was employed as a full-time staff painter for Les Brandt Backgrounds, Waterloo, IL, producing large scale custom backgrounds for professional photographers. 

Andrew is an award-winning painter, Including the prestigious Rouse gold medal, first prize, annual Adirondacks National Exhibition of American Watercolors. Included among his other awards:

Canson-Talens/Holbein, Dick Blick Award, Northwest Watercolor Society 56th Annual Exhibition,       

William K. Bixby Annual Bequest Prize (first Prize); Water & Oil Media Exhibition 1997 and Alice Strauch Gerdine Prize (first Prize) 1993; St. Louis Artist’s Guild, and the Patron Purchase Award; Kansas Watercolor Society Great 8 Exhibition 2008. 

Andrew exhibits regionally, nationally and internationally.  He has been selected for numerous juried group exhibitions, including St. Louis Artist’s Guild, Art St. Louis, Kansas Watercolor Society, KS, Northwest Watercolor Society, WA, Red River Watercolor Society, ND, Midwest Watercolor Society, WI., and Italy Tour 2003 Exhibition, Tuscan Estate of Castello di Spannocchia, Italy.

Andrew has been featured in several solo shows, including Mad Art Gallery, St. Louis, MO, and The Gallery, University City, MO. His work is in several permanent and corporate collections including St. Louis Community College, and Mark Twain Bancshares.

He owns and operates his studio in south St. Louis. 

Andrew was born in Chicago, Il, and has lived in St. Louis since 1979.  

Andrew earned his BFA in 1986, at Washington University, School of Fine Arts. He received his MFA at Fontbonne University in 2004.

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