Erik Lindman is a conceptual artist concerned with the culling and reinterpretation of residual objects cast aside during the creative process. Sometimes taking portions of failed paintings or destroyed fragments left around the studio, he creates mixed-media paintings and collage, working intuitively and spontaneously. “It ends up becoming positive in a way, instead of nihilistic. It’s the way this leftover stuff becomes the material.” Rejecting notions of finished (“post-studio”) work, he is fascinated with the possibilities that exist within the studio experience.
Erik Lindman was born in New York, 985. He completed a paining fellowship at Yale University before completing his Bachelor of Art at Columbia University in 2007. He lives and works in New York.
Lindman has had a series of notable solo exhibitions around the globe, featuring in London, New York, Geneva, Chicago, Brussels and Paris. These include at the Almine Rech, the Ribordy Contemporary, the Hannah Barry Gallery, the West Street Gallery and the V&A, New York.
Erik Lindman’s work is concerned with the culling and reinterpretation of residual objects, either ‘found’ or cast aside during the creative process. Sometimes taking portions of failed paintings or destroyed fragments left around the studio, he creates mixed-media paintings and collages, working intuitively and spontaneously.
He uses the defects of the both the canvas and his ‘failed’ materials as creative inspiration. “It ends up becoming positive in a way, instead of nihilistic. It’s the way this leftover stuff becomes the material”. Rejecting notions of finished (‘post-studio’) work, he is fascinated with the possibilities that exist within the studio experience.
One of the ways in which Lindman emphasises the fundamental importance of his ‘found’ material is by levelling it with the canvas so that the object is united with the structure of the art work. Lindman notes: “I use these surfaces as flat planes and tend to level their dimensionality by bringing the edge of the found surface into a continuous level with the surface of the canvas. The surfaces are adhered and screwed into canvas-wrapped panels … awareness of the scale and the negative space around the found element make up much of my work.”
This process is unusually executed in ‘Nanny’, 2012.
Lindman has painted the material such that the satin partakes in the negative space as well as being the subject. Moreover, despite being partially concealed in white paint, the folds, twists and contours of the covered fabric still command the viewer’s attention. Ironically, we are almost more drawn to the obscured. The soft, comfortable and familiar nature of the fabric has been altered such that it assumes a novel aesthetic and commands a new degree of respect from its audience. As such, ‘Nanny’s metamorphosis is reflective of the process by which Lindman’s re-envisions and re-establishes existing entities.
This piece is a prime example of Lindman’s fascination with the surfaces of found objects. The disruption of the smooth Plexiglas is breaks into the work’s ‘canvas’, almost rendering it a piece of sculpture. Lindman challenges our notion of the three pigeon holes of art – sculpture, painting and architecture – by creating a simple piece that combines all three. In this respect, ‘Untitled’ is reminiscent of Lucio Fontana’s iconic slashed canvases. The violence and revolt of this piece is seen in the imperfection of the mark. Unlike the sensual, meditated slits that feature in Fontana’s work, Lindman has created a rupture in the surface of his material that appears more determined by chance. The contour of the rupture seems to reflect same serendipity as his process of sourcing his materials. Lindman’s is a practice of interacting with the world and letting his environment lead and govern his work.
“My work often uses anonymous found surfaces as compositional elements: found sheets of painted luan, fragments of plastic armatures, or marred shards of stainless steel are joined, glued, and screwed together, initiating a cascade of decisions that ultimately articulate value and attention.
Cropping, awareness of scale and use of negative space combine with the absorbency, luminosity and superficial variation of these surfaces. All of this activity opens a space within the world around me, specifically focusing attention on painting’s cultural ramifications and the plain facts of their existence. I continually attempt to construct painting anew, calling attention to the reality that surface is always a coming together of materials made to adhere to each other. In this same way, my sculpture is an extension of this practice, but unlike the paintings, they investigate a sequential series of viewpoints, each dissimilar and separate from the next.
Instead of assuming a wholly autobiographical stance, my presence as an artist serves as a conduit through which each individual viewer is invited to participate in the shared activity of remaking our world, here and now, out of the things that exist around and within us.”