James Erikson is an artist and librarian from Philadelphia. He makes paintings, prints, artists’ books, drawings, and sculptures. Born in Plainfield, New Jersey, at an early age he moved to rural Central Pennsylvania. He has shown his work in galleries in Pennsylvania, New York, and Ohio. Erikson received his MFA from SUNY Purchase and his MLS from CUNY Queens. In 2021, he was commissioned to create a painting for the lobby of the 200 East 59th Street condo building designed by the architects CetraRuddy.
For over 25 years as an artist, I have been exploring a connection between light and space and the emotions they evoke. Structure is also important: objects in space, creating movement; a mix of opacity and transparency. I’m interested in the evocation of memory -- memory of time, place, light, color, and scale.
Considering the art and craft of ancient cultures -- specifically cave paintings in Europe, Celtic and Roman artifacts, and monuments -- allows me to ruminate on those huge human experiences of life and death and memorial.
In the past I’ve looked to literature for ideas and a narrative. At the moment what’s on my mind is: 20th Century American abstraction, monuments, monoliths, and the mood and movement of music.