Art critic Clement Greenberg once wrote, “Art is a matter strictly of experience, not of principles, and what counts first and last in art is quality; all other things are secondary.”

Calgary-born Canadian contemporary painter Erik Olson paid a visit to the FBFA studio last week to chat with our design team and give us insight into his experience-based artistic approach. He often begins with a curiosity, pursuing it passionately and to an unparalleled depth, following its course to develop an engaged body of work. An avid traveler, Olson’s nomadic explorations are reflected by the oft-arresting visual impact of his new perceptions.

Known for his portraits of friends and colleagues with figurative and abstracted elements—we have two on display at Farmboy HQ!— Olson questions what constitutes identity. His bold applications of vivid color ask the question: what is a person and how do you determine what a person is? Is it the characteristics that make up a person or the framing though which you view them?

Olson is represented by Michael Gibson Gallery in London, ON, and BravenLee Programs in New York, as well as Viviane Art in Calgary, where you can catch ‘Paper Works,’ a two-person exhibition featuring Olson’s mono-prints, on until June 15, 2017.


Todd Towers with Eric Olson and his painting, 'Matthes', in the Farmboy studio

'Girl With Flower Face Paint' by Erik Olson. Image: artist's website

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