Erik Parker: Historical Grammar
Works from the 2000s
On October 10, 2019, Ross + Kramer Gallery (14 E 63rd St., New York, NY) presents Erik Parker: Historical Grammar, featuring Erik Parker’s sprawling mixed media paintings that simultaneously function as word maps. The dates of the works in the exhibition begin at 2000, and span to newer works. With the focus on Parker’s works from the early 2000’s, the exhibition seeks to recalibrate the viewer’s conception of the words within the works, of Parker’s vast oeuvre, and of painting in general through the lens of recent history. A champion of subculture, Parker finds a place for the “posers”, “lowriders”, “rastas”, “punk rockers”, “skaters”, and even the “haters” all on one brightly colored canvas. Labels have been scrawled into a map so each loaded word has its own domain in an amorphous shape. These shapes are reminiscent of landforms, like the continental US, or in some cases body parts — perhaps a stomach full of “subculture shout-outs”, or lungs that only breathe in and out the “workin poor”. Effervescent, vibrantly colored forms signal intestines, guttural, as well as pointed fingers, inquisitive. Parker, as he did nearly twenty years ago when making the earliest paintings on view, asks the viewers to very literally see the writing on the wall. Erik Parker (b. 1968) is a New York based painter who has held solo exhibitions around the world, including the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in Connecticut, the De Appel in Amsterdam, the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Texas, and Colette in Paris.