“Steve Erickson: Painter" at the Figge Art Museum -- September 14 through January 5.

Exhibit: Saturday, September 14, through Sunday, January 5

Reception: Thursday, September 12, 6:30 p.m.

Figge Art Museum, 225 West Second Street, Davenport IA

Superb new works by a longtime Iowa artist and exhibition designer with the University of Iowa Museum of Art will be on display at the Figge Art Museum September 14 through January 5, with the Davenport venue hosting Steve Erickson: Painter, a collection of creations fascinating for their vivid colors and arresting designs.

In 1965, the celebrated minimalist artist Donald Judd famously said, “The main thing wrong with painting is that it is a rectangular plane placed flat against the wall. A rectangle is a shape itself; it is obviously the whole shape; it determines and limits the arrangement of whatever is on or inside of it.” Depending on who you asked in the 1960s and early 1970s, the art of painting was either washed up or waiting for a close-up. Painting's only limiting factor then was the imagination of the artist, or an artist/critic-like sculptor Judd, for whom painting in the traditional sense had become a dead end. On the other hand, with painting dead, the sky is/was the limit and painting could be whatever an artist wanted it to be. Through the series of 11 recent works that comprise Steve Erickson: Painter, one can witness firsthand the artists's desire to create paintings that suggest vast possibilities well beyond the edge of a rectangular plane. At once mysterious and familiar, Erickson's work will provide Figge visitors an opportunity to appreciate the possibilities of painting in the 21st Century.

Steve Erickson artwork

Erickson received his MFA in painting from the University of Iowa in 1993. An exhibition designer at the University of Iowa Museum of Art, he lives in Iowa City and has exhibited at Minneapolis' Forum Gallery, Cedar Rapids' CSPS, Minneapolis' Carolyn Ruff Gallery, Minneapolis, Iowa City's Hudson River Gallery, and Fairfield's Icon Gallery. Erickson's work is included in the public collections of Iowa City's Mercy Hospital, as well as University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics, the University of Iowa School of Law, and the University of Iowa Museum of Art. In his works, he employs a plethora of styles, techniques, sizes, and points of view. Ranging from the photo-realistic to the utterly non-objective, and many points between, Erickson's work is a celebration of possibilities within the media of oil paint, and as he recently stated, “I have what I once heard termed a lateral obsession. Whereas most artists focus on reaching the highest level with a single theme, idea, or style, I’m absorbed in achieving a breadth of styles.”

An artist reception for Steve Erickson: Painter will be held at 6:30 p.m. on September 12 – with Erickson and John Dilg on hand to introduce their new exhibits and speak about their artistic processes – and the collection will be on display September 14 through January 5. Regular museum hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesdays through Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Thursdays, and noon to 5 p.m. on Sundays, museum admission is $4-10, and more information is available by calling (563)326-7804 or visiting FiggeArtMuseum.org.

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