Andreas Eriksson: Two Columns and a Sunny Day at Stephen Friedman Gallery, TriBeCa




Andreas Ericsson. Image courtesy Stephen Friedman Gallery

Stephen Friedman Gallery presents Two Columns and a Sunny Day, an exhibition by Swedish artist Andreas Eriksson. The show, which is at the gallery’s recently opened New York location, marks Eriksson’s solo debut in the US. Featuring large-scale paintings, the exhibition continues the artist’s exploration of painting as an act of deep contemplation and reflective engagement.

Opening Reception to be held on Friday, January 12th from 6-8pm

In his diverse practice encompassing painting, tapestry, sculpture, printmaking, photography, and mixed media installation, Eriksson explores the intersection between art and nature—carefully merging the material and the conceptual. His research is rooted in extensive observation of his surroundings in the Lake Vänern and Medelplana region in Sweden, where he currently lives.

Eriksson’s work is positioned between the legacy of European Impressionism and Romanticism, as well as postwar American abstraction, emphasizing the materiality of color while exploring its optical effects. His complex compositions gesture to David Novros’ experimental compositions, Clyfford Still’s exploration of color’s expressive potential, Günther Forg’s rhythmic mark-making, and Helen Frankenthaler’s notion of the picture plane. Furthermore, Eriksson’s work has been deeply influenced by Swedish painting between 1910 and 1940, a period of time characterized by surrealism and expressionism. This period embraced a raw and instinctive painting approach, an aesthetic that deeply resonated with Eriksson during his childhood.

For Eriksson, painting is a physical act closely aligned with sculpture and weaving. Through a meticulous process, the artist delicately applies thin layers of acrylic onto Belgian canvas; followed by the application of transparent dark oil paint. His applications of color can be interpreted as patchwork topographies or details of organic forms, where multiple fields of color and texture come together, creating a mosaic of varying tones. The result is a haptic surface that reveals the bodily gestures behind his compositions. “I use the material as an entry point to start the painting process,” the artist explains, “There is a connection between the way I put the paint onto the canvas and the structure of the tapestries. Sometimes the paintings look woven because I often apply horizontal or vertical strokes, just like in the process of weaving.”

In his darker paintings, the artist favors somber tones to activate the senses and allow the viewer to reflect back on the nature of that sensory activation. The works investigate the play of imagination and how the mind’s eye can imprint shapes upon darkness. In this way, the paintings not only capture the essence of the landscape but also invite viewer interaction, encapsulating the act of observing.

The artist’s lighter compositions reflect an ever-shifting color palette spanning from light copper, bright pinks, and flesh tones to deep greens and jewel hues. In contrast to conventional landscapes that depend on creating illusions, Eriksson seems to shift attention towards the window as a mirror, an object meant to be looked at. The fascination centers on the painting itself— how the colors blend and interact, forming a unique visual language. As the artist states, “The paintings act as windows, rather than a picture of a landscape.”

About the artist ~ Andreas Eriksson was born in 1975 in Björsäter, Sweden. He lives and works in Lidköping, Sweden.

A significant monograph on the artist’s practice was released by Sveriges Allmänna Konstförening in December 2021, accompanied by an exhibition at Galleri Flach, Stockholm. A major solo presentation of Eriksson’s work opened at Skissernas Museum, Lund in June 2021. The artist had an exhibition of watercolours, drawings and tapestries at Nordic Watercolour Museum, Tjörn in September 2020. Eriksson was commissioned to create a public painting for the main entrance of New Karolinska Hospital in Stockholm in 2017. His work was exhibited at the 30th São Paulo Biennial, São Paulo (2012) and The Nordic Pavilion, 54th Venice Biennale in 2011.

Other notable solo exhibitions include: ‘Andreas Eriksson’, Artspace de 11 Linjen Griet Dupont Foundation, Oudenburg, Belgium (2021); ‘Cutouts, Mistakes and Threads’, Braunsfelder Family Collection, Cologne, Germany (2019); ‘Work in Progress’, Skissernas Museum, Lund, Sweden (2017); ‘Roundabouts’, Bonniers Konsthall, Stockholm, Sweden which toured to Trondheim Kunstmuseum, Trondheim, Norway; Centre PasquArt, Biel, Switzerland and Reykjavik Art Museum, Reykjavik, Iceland (2014–2015). ‘Roundabout the hardship of believing’ and ‘Walking the Dog, Lying on the Sofa,’ MUMOK, Vienna, Austria (2008).

Eriksson’s works are included in prominent collections internationally including Centre Pompidou, Paris, France; FRAC, Auvergne, France; MUMOK, Vienna, Austria; Nasjonalmuseet, Oslo, Norway; Gothenburg Museum of Art, Gothenberg, Sweden; Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Sweden; Skövde Art Museum, Skövde, Sweden; National Public Art Council, Sweden; Sundsvall Museum, Sundsvall, Sweden; Uppsala Art Museum, Uppsala, Sweden; British Museum, London, England and X Museum, Beijing, China.

Parallel to the exhibition, Eriksson’s work is currently on view at the Buffalo AKG Art Museum, New York.

Andreas Eriksson: Two Columns and a Sunny Day will be on view from January 12 to February 17, 2024 at Stephen Friedman Gallery, 54 Franklin Street, NYC. An Opening Reception will be held on Friday, January 12th from 6-8pm.

This is the second exhibition in the gallery’s new New York space in TriBeCa. About the Gallery ~ Stephen Friedman Gallery announced an expansion to the United States for our first gallery outside the UK. Our new gallery will open at 54 Franklin Street in Tribeca, New York in late autumn 2023. Located in the historic district, the site dates from 1891 and features a Romanesque Revival façade, including the neighbourhood’s ubiquitous cast iron storefront and original glass frontage. The space will be designed by Trimble Architecture.