ERIKA KECK . keep everything under your hat


When looking at Erika Keck's body of work, one can see that, over time, her figurative style of painting systematically started taking on a more material-based approach. By unifying material, subject and object in one seemingly single flow, her paintings gradually became evocative of sculptural relief.

Erika Keck's current body of work illustrates her continuity, progression and unconventional approach to the materials, which allows expressive qualities to emerge. The artist furthers her exploration of the effects of abstraction on the meeting of line, space, drawing, painting and sculpture. She interweaves paint to create a tapestry of mark making with alternating horizontal paint stripes, which seem to derive from the linearity of the work itself. She also applies what could be described as a structural polychromy or abstract colored structure in which color becomes the surface.

On occasion, the paint lines create a framing that serves to stage the central void, an absence functioning as pure presence. This portal generates tension between itself and the layers of marks surrounding it. At the same time it creates a rupture in the passage of the gaze, making that the eye sees one type of space and then abruptly moves into another one. As the mind tries to read the new type of space, there is a little gap or break, when thought is triggered. Through the discrepancy this fosters between intention and interpretation, the artist continues to challenge the viewer into generating their own interpretations: to see what the mind can think and imagine, to realize this for oneself and through oneself as concretely as possible.

Any verbal ideas Erika Keck might have about painting, are expressed through the medium itself. Her idiosyncratic artistic sensibility and techniques - to be tight, to be loose, to be conscious, to not be conscious - tend toward the spontaneous and intuitive, and away from a celebration of the individual toward the bedrock of culture where all meaning is made.

Erika Keck (1976, Albuquerque, NM) lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. Her work is held in major collections around the world, and has been the subject of several exhibitions across the United States and Europe.