Erik Sandgren (Portland, Oregon)
Observed, Imagined and Remembered: the Northwest Landscape
January 20 - February 27, 2021
Virtual Artist Talk:
Friday, February 5, at 11:00 am on Facebook Live
Karin Clarke Gallery is excited to start the new year with a large exhibit of paintings and woodcut prints by Portland artist Erik Sandgren.
Originally from Corvallis, Erik Sandgren grew up plain-air painting with his father, Nelson Sandgren, noted painter and OSU art professor.
Erik earned degrees in art from Yale (BA ’75) and Cornell (MFA ’77) before serving as a one-person art department at Grays Harbor College in Aberdeen, WA, from 1989 through 2017. Now based in Portland, Erik exhibits broadly in solo, group and juried shows. His work is represented in numerous private and public collections, including the Franklin Furnace Gallery of the Museum of Modern Art, Yale University Art Gallery, the China National Academy of Fine Art in Hangzhou, Oregon State University, Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, Portland State University, University of Portland, Hallie Ford Museum and Maryhill Museum.
Erik’s interest has evolved beyond replicating a scene from observation, to creating a unique landscape style animated by imagination and invention. The expressive and dynamic paintings and prints that make up this exhibit celebrate the diversity of the Northwest landscape and exemplify Erik’s varied skills.
Karin Clarke Gallery 760 Willamette St. Eugene, OR. 97401 541.684.7963 email@example.com
Erik Sandgren is a practicing and widely exhibiting artist as well as professor of Fine Arts and Humanities courses at Grays Harbor College. He has been the primary visual art faculty there since 1989: tenured since 1992.
His educational background is a BFA from Yale College (1975) and an MFA in painting and Printmaking from Cornell University (1977). His father was a professor of painting at Oregon State University: He grew up in a household saturated with visual art and visiting artists. His father’s most influential teacher at the University of Oregon had been David McCosh who had studied with the American Regionalist painter Grant Wood. This represents one of the two main strands of his background and education as a painter. The other complementary strand has been my ongoing connection with a milieu of east coast painters initiated during his undergraduate studies at Yale College with Bernard Chaet. Irwin Hauer, and Gretna Campbell.
He was awarded a Fulbright Teaching Exchange posting to England and have received two sabbatical leaves from GHC for European travel to paint and extend my background in the history of art and architecture. He has twice been artist in residence with the Alfred and Trafford Klots Program in Rochefort-en-Terre, Brittany administered by the Maryland Institute College of Art. He is a member of Print Arts Northwest, and has served six years as a board member of the Washington State Technical and Community College Humanities Association.
Erik Sandgren probes the Northwest landscape as a witness sensitive to myth and history.
Erik was born in Corvallis, Oregon in 1952 and grew up in the environs of Oregon State University. His father, Nelson Sandgren, was a noted painter and OSU art professor. Their household was saturated with the visual culture that fostered Erik’s early interests and education as a painter/printmaker. He went east to study at Yale (BA ’75) and Cornell (MFA ’77) where he expanded his painting and printmaking skills as part of the broad path of Ivy League liberal arts. His primary mentors were Bernard Chaet, Gretna Campbell and Erwin Hauer.
Like a homing salmon, Sandgren returned to the headwaters of his art and early life in the Pacific Northwest, drawn by a vivid landscape where raw nature is close-at-hand and the history of industrialization is little more than a century old. In Aberdeen, Washington he served as a one-person art department at Grays Harbor College from 1989 through 2017. Several sabbaticals and the Fulbright program allowed him to pursue teaching and artist residencies in England and France where he explored that more settled landscape. He expanded his firsthand knowledge of history, Western art and architecture in ways that have contributed to his feeling for the mythos of the Pacific Northwest.
Erik exhibits broadly in solo, group and juried shows. His work is represented in numerous private and public collections including those of the Franklin Furnace Gallery of the Museum of Modern Art, Yale University Art Gallery and the China National Academy of Fine Art in Hangzhou, Oregon State University, Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, Portland State University, University of Portland, Hallie Ford Museum and Maryhill Museum.
Large scale public art projects include significant elements of the 4,600 square feet mural of Oregon landscapes on which he assisted his father in the Eugene/Springfield Airport in 1989. Murals in Grays Harbor include Elusive Witnesses, Nirvana and Aberdeen, Chehalis at Tidewater and the Centennial Project for the Port of Grays Harbor’s Commission Room commemorating a century of marine commerce in the context of the estuary’s natural riches.