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INSTAGRAM Photos
ON EXHIBITION

Exhibitions

Erik ReeL : Zero Point
GraySpace
21 Sept – 11 Nov 2018

Butler Institute of American Art
82nd National Midyear
Youngstown, Ohio
1 July – 26 August 2018

CICA Museum
International Group Show
Seoul, South Korea
July 2017

Morris Graves Museum of Art
From the Collection
January – March 2017

VIDEOS
ABOUT ME

Post-contemporary artist addressing issues related to mark-making and signification.  Represented by collections in New York,  Berlin, London, Seoul, Los Angeles, Paris, Buenos Aires, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Chicago, Houston, San Francisco, Oakland, Minneapolis, Seattle, Indianapolis,  San Diego, Santa Barbara,  and Santa Fe [NM].  Public collections include Seattle City Light, the Museum of Ventura County, the City of Seattle, and the Morris Graves Museum of Art.

BIOGRAPHY

Born in Seattle in 1952, Erik ReeL attended Whitman College majoring in mathematics and philosophy, the University of California, at Berkeley, and the University of Washington majoring in art history and studio art, graduating summa cum laude in 1975.  ReeL studied art history with Rainer Crone, painting with Jacob Lawrence, Michael Spafford, Bob Jones, and Michael Dailey, color with Richard Dahn [a student of Albers], sumi-e with George Tsutakawa, and, independently, Chinese brush with Hsai Chen.

In the late 1970s Reel wrote on art for a number of publications including VanguardArtExpressHigh Performance magazines, Artweek, and/or Notes, wrote a weekly column for the Bellevue Journal-American, and was the arts editor for the Seattle Voice city magazine.  ReeL sat on two Seattle Arts Commission Special Task Forces:  Media and Educational Institutions in the Arts.

In his twenties, Reel was involved in performance art as well as writing and painting, performing in pieces at the Seattle Art Museum and Washington Hall in Seattle, usually collaborating with musicians and dancers, while exhibiting paintings regularly with the original Jackson Street Gallery located upstairs at 123 Jackson Street. For five years ReeL taught art history, color theory, and life painting at the Seattle Central Community College until he left Seattle permanently in 1984.

ReeL’s painting has alternated between phases of figurative and abstract imagery until 2009 when he took a position clearly critical of the hypermaterialism of contemporary society by stripping all references to the physical world from his work to produce his mature non-objective style.

In a presentation at the Morris Graves Museum of Art, Portland-based art critic, Jae Carlsson [Art Dish, ArtForum] pointed out ReeL’s visual and philosophical connections to earlier Seattle painters Morris Graves and Mark Tobey, while at the same time indicating that ReeL had pushed his work beyond Post-Modernist limitations.  As well as these influences from earlier Seattle precedents there are influences from the Black Mountain Arts School via Jacob Lawrence and Bob Jones. An exhibition of Cy Twombly’s in New York in the late 1970s has also been cited by ReeL as an early influence during a talk in Santa Barbara in 2010.

ReeL’s work after 2003 features a technique consisting mainly of pastel and dry media used in conjunction with liquid acrylic paints in a way that ignores the distinction between drawing and painting. In a 2010 catalog of Reel’s work, art critic Nikki Arconi writes:

“ReeL’s technique exhibits a high degree of transparency, layering, sfgraffito and graffitto, with a strong sense of hand, the hand-made, and an absence of any references to the material world. This work can be seen as a thorough-going critique of materialism, the machine or machine-made, and the triumph of feeling over the manufactured. For ReeL, marking is a defining characteristic of the human and the primordial act of signification and meaning for human consciousness.”

In 2017, the following statement was published regarding understanding Reel’s work:  

“Like an archaeologist uncovering the remnants of written language ReeL creates meaning from, not just what is visible, but in what has been obscured.  To understand ReeL’s work one must look at his attraction to such seemingly incongruent influences as erased whiteboards, blizzards, improvisational music, and abandoned industrial sites. His work celebrates the meaning in remnants, the hidden, the random and destroyed.”

At times Reel has severely limited his exhibiting. For example, for a couple of years from 2007 to 2008 he exhibited only in shows promoting gay or LGBT rights and causes. He refused to exhibit in group shows from 1986 to 1999, or any shows from 1988 to 1999 with the exception of a modest solo exhibition of drawings at the Mazey Hickey Gallery in Seattle.

In 2012 ReeL met and two years later married Rhonda P. Hill  in Ventura, California, north of Los Angeles, where he maintains a studio. In 2015 ReeL returned to writing about the arts online (primarily on theatre and major museum shows).

TECHNIQUE

ReeL’s technique exhibits a high degree of transparency, layering, sfgraffito and graffitto, with a strong sense of hand, the hand-made, and an absence of any references to the material world. This work can be seen as a thorough-going critique of materialism, the machine or machine-made, and the triumph of feeling over the manufactured. For ReeL, marking is a defining characteristic of the human and the primordial act of signification and meaning for human consciousness.   

Nikki Arconi

EXPERTISE
AWARDS
PAST EXHIBITIONS

catalog with show = *
curated by = c:

Select Solo Shows

2018            GraySpace Gallery, Erik ReeL: Zero Point, Santa Barbara, CA
2016            Morris Graves Museum of Art, Erik ReeL: Full Circle, Eureka, CA *
2014            SCIART, Silence, Camarillo, CA
                        Museum of Ventura County, Rebar, Ventura, CA
2013            643 Project SpaceTabula Rasa, Ventura, CA *
2011            B Street Project Space, Markings, Oxnard, CA
2009            Laurel Ventura Gallery, Ventura, Viva la Vida, CA *
2008            Love HouseReeL at the Love House, Ventura, CA
                        UC Santa Barbara Faculty Club, CA
                        Caruso Woods Gallery, Santa Barbara, CA
2006            Caruso Woods Gallery, Santa Barbara, CA
2005            Caruso Woods Gallery, Santa Barbara, CA
2004            Caruso Woods Gallery, Santa Barbara, CA
2003            Santa Barbara Film Commission, CA
                        University of California Santa Barbara Faculty Club, CA
                        Delphine GalleryNight Mind, Santa Barbara, CA
                        Delphine Gallery, Santa Barbara, CA
2002            Delphine Gallery, Santa Barbara, CA
                        University of California Santa Barbara Faculty Club, CA
2001            University of California Santa Barbara Faculty Club, CA
                        Delphine Gallery, Santa Barbara, CA
2000            Delphine Gallery, Santa Barbara, CA
1988-96    did not exhibit
1987            Mazey Hickey Gallery, Faces, Seattle, WA
1986            Whatcom County Museum, Bellingham, WA
1985            Jackson Street Gallery, Seattle, WA
1984            Jackson Street Gallery, Seattle, WA
                        Cornish Institute for Allied Arts, Seattle, WA
1982            The VogueWarehouse Paintings, Seattle, WA
1981            and/or alternative space, Seattle, WA
1979            and/or alternative space, Seattle, WA
                        Evergreen State College, The Face of Death, Olympia, WA
1977            Alexander Sasanoff GalleryPaintings, Seattle, WA
1975            Alexander Sasanoff GalleryDrawings, Seattle, WA
1974            Ocean Sands, Ocean Shores, WA

Select Group Shows

2018            Butler Institute for American Art, 82nd National Midyear, OH
2017            Czong Institute of Contemporary Art [CICA Museum], Seoul, South Korea
                        Porch Gallery, Epiphany, Ojai, CA
                        Morris Graves Museum of Art,  From the Collection, Eureka, CA
                        Sullivan Goss Gallery, Contemporary Abstraction, Santa Barbara, CA
2016            Postmodern GalleryFor the Earth, Washington, DC 
2015            Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara, Out of the Great Wide Open, CA
                        Museum of Ventura County, Retablos for Peace, CA
2014            WAV, Standing in Boots  [with Nash Rightmer] Ventura, CA
                        Museum of Ventura County, Ventura, CA
                        Sullivan Goss Gallery,  Santa Barbara, CA
2013            Sullivan Goss Gallery,  Santa Barbara, CA
2012            SCIART, Camarillo, CA
2011            Vita Art Center, Bell Arts Factory, Ventura, CA
2010            Print Electronico, Buenos Aires, Argentina
                        Casa Del Mexicano, Epocha Nueva, Santa Paula, CA
                        Laurel Ventura Gallery, Ventura, CA
2009            251 Laurel GalleryTurbulence [with Vonder Gray], Ventura, CA
                        Cal State University Channel Islands Invitational, Camarillo, CA
                        Pistol Productions, Ventura, CA
                        Museum of Ventura County, Ventura, CA
2008            I-5, Los Angeles, CA
                        251 Laurel Gallery, Earth and Sky, Ventura, CA
                        Artists Union Gallery, Ventura, CA
                        Caruso Woods GalleryGay Pride Show, Santa Barbara, CA
2007            Caruso Woods GalleryGay Pride Show, Santa Barbara, CA
                        LGBTI Support Network, Rainbow Alliance, Ventura, CA
2006            Elizabeth Edwards Gallery, Palm Desert, CA
2005            Elizabeth Edwards Gallery, Palm Desert, CA
2004            Society of American Graphic Artists71st SAGA Annual Print Show, New York, NY 
                        University of Wisconsin17th Parkside National Small Print Exhibition, Kenosha, WS *
                        McNeese State University, LA, c: Matthew Pruit, Sr. Curator, Menil Collection, Houston
                        Montpelier Center for the Arts, Montpelier, VI
                        Las Vegas Center for Art and Design, Santa Fe, NM
                        Artlink Contemporary, Fort Wayne, IN
                        Landscape Unlimited, Chicago, IL
                        CREATE + Media Art Lab, Signal+Noise, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA
                        Caruso Woods Gallery, Ventura, CA
                        Elizabeth Edwards Gallery, Palm Desert, CA
2003            Elizabeth Edwards Gallery, Palm Desert, CA
                        Linda Moore Gallery, San Diego, CA
                        Lisa Kurts Gallery, Memphis, TN
2002            Lisa Kurts Gallery, Memphis, TN
                        Contemporary Art Forum, Forum-ulations, Santa Barbara, CA
2001            Contemporary Art Forum, Focus on the Forum, Santa Barbara, CA
2000            Contemporary Art Forum, Focus on the Forum, Santa Barbara, CA
                        Pavilion for World PeaceArtists for World Peace, Kobe, Japan
                        Karpeles Museum, Artists for World Peace, Santa Barbara, CA
1999            Delphine Gallery, Santa Barbara, CA
1986-98     did not exhibit in group shows
1985            Center on Contemporary ArtNew York, LA, Seattle, New York, NY
                        Center on Contemporary ArtNew York, LA, Seattle, Los Angeles, CA
                        Center on Contemporary ArtNew York, LA, Seattle, Seattle, WA
                        Seattle Art Museum, East-West Dialog, c: Gene Barto, Brooklyn Museum of Art
                        Henry Art Gallery, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
1984            Seattle Art Museum, City of Seattle Collects, c: Howard Fox [LACMA], Seattle
                        Cornish Institute for the Arts, Burning Angels, performance, Seattle, WA
                        Seattle Pacific UniversityFace to Face [with Jimmy Jet], WA
                        Seattle Art Museum PavilionSilver Birds, performance [w/ Sue Ann Harkey], WA
                        Seattle Art MuseumNight Mind, performance [w/ Sue Ann Harkey], WA
                        Poetry Seattle, A Reading After Robbe-Grillet, performance [w/ K. Hunt], WA
1983            Jackson Street Gallery, Seattle, WA
1982            Seattle 1% for Art purchase, Seattle, WA
1980            Foster/White GalleryChihuly et al., Seattle, WA
1979            William Traver Gallery, Seattle, WA
                        Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC
1978            and/or alternative space, 6500 x 20 International Color Xerox Invitational, Seattle, WA
                        Bellevue Art Museum, Bellevue, WA
1977            and/or alternative space, International Flux Fest, c: George Maciunas,  Seattle, WA
1976            Del Mar Museum, Drawing on the West Coast, c: W. Thiebaud, Corpus Christie, TX

Education

1975             University of Washingtonsumma cum laude, art history
1974             University of California, Berkeley
1971-73     Whitman College, mathematics
1952             born, Seattle

Erik ReeL is a post-contemporary artist addressing issues related to mark-making and signification.  His work is represented by collections in New York,  Berlin, London, Seoul, Los Angeles, Paris, Buenos Aires, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Chicago, Houston, San Francisco, Oakland, Minneapolis, Seattle, Indianapolis,  San Diego, Santa Barbara,  and Santa Fe [NM].  Public collections include Seattle City Light, the Museum of Ventura County, the City of Seattle, and the Morris Graves Museum of Art.

PUBLICATIONS

Publications

About Erik ReeL

Catalogs and Monographs

Erik ReeL: Full Circle, Morris Graves Museum of Art, exhibition catalog,  2016
Carlsson, Jae. Tabula Rasa. Exhibition catalog,  2013.
Erik ReeL: From the Private Collection. Catalog. Centaur: 2013
Arconi, Nikki. Painting Catalog: 1250 -1456, Centaur: 2010.
Erik ReeL: Painting: Catalog 1352 – 1401, Centaur: 2010.
Erik ReeL: Works on Paper, Centaur: 2009.
Erik ReeL: Paintings, Centaur: 2009.
Chaos. Exhibition catalog, 2009.
Quantum Dynamics of Painting, exhibition catalog, 2008.
Erik ReeL: paintings and drawings. 110 plates, Centaur: 2008.
Erik ReeL. Face to Face. New World: 2008.
17th Annual McNeese National Works on Paper, exhibition catalog, 2004.
17th Parkside National Small Print Exhibition, exhibition catalog. Wisconsin: 2004.

Interviews

Ruins of Runes, may 2014 Sean Riehl on Erik ReeL video
Interview with Erik ReeL june 2013 Society805.com
Interview with Erik ReeL january 2013 KAQB

Video

Epiphany:  Erik ReeL and Diane Silver Eric Minh Swenson 2017
The Visual Language of Erik ReeL Sean Riehl 2014

Selected Sources

Leslie Westbrook, Welcome to Planet ReeL, oct 2017
Nathan Vonk, Out of the Great Wide Open at MCASB,  feb 2015
Nelson Jesson, Semiotic Abstraction, nov 2013
Tracy Hudak, A Painter With a View, april 2013
Christian Reed, Oh, Those Pesky Tag Memes, feb 2013
Ben Chinay, Signs of a Lost Civilizationdec 2011
Nikki Arconi, Recent Paintings, catalog essay, nov 2010
Erik ReeL 2172, Tutustu kiinnostaviin ideoihin! Mark Making, Words, and Asemic Writing


Press

Kit Boise-Cossart, Erik ReeL, GraySpace Santa Barbara, nov 2018
Leslie Dinaberg, Erik ReeL: Zero Point & Rhonda P. Hill: Blurred Boundaries: Fashion as an Art, sept 2018
Erik ReeL at the Butler Institute of American Art july 2018
Leslie Westbrook, Welcome to Planet ReeL, oct 2017
Nathan Vonk, Out of the Great Wide Open at MCASB,  feb 2015
ReeL Grand Slam, nov 2014
Nash Rightmer & Erik ReeL’s “Standing in Boots” may 2014
Nelson Jesson, Semiotic Abstraction, nov 2013
Tracy Hudak, A Painter With a View, april 2013
Christian Reed, Oh, Those Pesky Tag Memes, feb 2013
Nathan Vonk, How Soon is Now?, june 2012
Ted Mills, In the Abstract Bedroom, june 2012
Ben Chinay, Signs of a Lost Civilizationdec 2011
Nicole D’Amore. Faces are Archeteypes, aug 2008
Ashley Olive. Erik ReeL at FrameWorks, oct 2008
Joseph Woodard. Joie de Vivre, sept 2004
Charles Donelan. The Riviera American-style, sept 2003
Sarah McIver, ReeL Irrational Exuberance, may 2003
Anita Farina, ReeL’s Bagdad Hotel, august 2003
David Jensen, Arte Tropicana and the ReeL Thing, june 2003
Annette Sorel, ReeL Splash of Color, may 2002
Joseph Woodard, Pools and Lines, may 2002
Delores Tarzan, ReeL at Cornish Institute, Seattle Times, sept 1984
Regina Hackett, ReeL at and/or, review, Seattle P-I, january 1981
Lisa Thomas, ReeL Splash of Color, june 1977

Related Articles

Society805.com, VAM Improvisational Painting, 7 july 2014
Jae Carlsson, Erik ReeL, Tabula Rasa catalog, april 2013
Raphael Rubinstein, Provisional Painting Part 2: To Rest Lightly on Earth, feb 2012
Nikki Arconi, Recent Paintings, catalog essay, nov 2010
Raphael Rubinstein, Provisional Painting, may 2009

Writing by Erik ReeL

On Visual Art

Matisse in Long Beach aug 2018
Mark Bradford at Hauser & Wirth may 2018
Yumiko Glover: Pushing the Button 2058 Times may 2018
The Art Market 2017 12 jan 2018
Chagall: Fantasies on Stage at LACMA  12 nov 2017
Jimmie Durham: Art at the Center of the World  
11 april 2017
Jean Dubuffet Drawings at the Hammer 10 april 2017
Moholy-Nagy at LACMA  31 march 2017
Henry Taylor at Blum & Poe dec 2016
Agnes Martin 21 jun 2016
Artist’s statement: Influences
 
 april 2016
Interview with Mara De Luca 7 june 2016
Letter From the FrontFace to Face catalog, aug 2008
Notes, unpublished manuscript, ongoing

On Performing Arts

Bakersfield Mist 14 may 2018
Sgt. Pepper at 50; Mark Morris at Eternity 14 may 2018
Baby Tangle 14 may 2018
American Buffalo 20 april 2018
Macbeth  20 april 2018
Lear 27 mar 2018
Wrongs of the Righteous 12 feb 2018
This Random World  12
 feb 2018
Perlmutter’s Directing Hamlet 12 nov 2017
Taking Sides 13 nov 2017
Flying H Does Blackbird 16 oct 2017
Dance: Anaїs by Mixed eMotion Theatrix 
25 sept 2017
Incognito 22 sept 2017
Becky’s New Car 6 sept 2017
Steel Magnolias at the Elite 4 sept 2017
McPherson’s Birds 1 july 2017
When We Were Young and Unafraid 9 jun 2017
Milo’s Other Mozart 5 jun 2017
Beached 26 april 2017
To Woo is to Win 
25 april 2017
Agnes of God 
6 mar 2017
Devil’s Music that Feeds the Soul  
3 mar 2017
Driving Home: Rubicon Concludes Nibroc Trilogy 7 feb 2017 
Jason Furlani’s Family Trees 
6 dec 2016
Chapter Two at ETC  5 dec 2016
Arthur Miller’s All My Sons 
17 oct 2016
Night Alive
 
24 sept 2016
This Isn’t Kansas, Is It?  23 july 2016
Open Meeting Closed 15 july 2016
Oh, How Lovely Do Angels Fall, 15 jJune 2016
What Kind of Sticks?  10 june 2016
A World Down the Street 24 may 2016
The Pillowman, 19 may 2016
David Hare’s Skylight 18 may 2016
Amy Herzog’s 4000 Miles at SPTC   23 april 2016
Uncanny Valley 24 mar 2016
Taking Liberty 7 mar 2016
The Other Place 16 feb 2016
See Rock City 2 feb 2016
FUBAR at Flying H 25 jan 2016
My Fair Lady at Rubicon 26 oct 2015
Acting Rules at Flying H and Elite: Small Engine Repair and Zero Hour, 19 oct 2015
Into the Jaws of History 13 Sep 2015
It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad Living Room 5 Sep 2015
Twisted Trouble 18 jul 2015
Other Desert Cities 3 jun 2015
Roger That 31 may 2015

Local Art News

Joe Cardella 1945-2018 may 2018
Vonder Gray at WAV  9 feb 2018
Bob Privett at the Ventura County Museum 6 june 2017
Assembling Assemblage 17 may 2017
Museum Mishandles Asian Pacific Exhibition  27 jun 2016
Flying H Theatre Announces New Plays, 15 feb 2016
New Executive Director for the Museum of Ventura County  18 april 2013
Pistol Productions: Firing Away 1 oct 2012
Is the 805 Ready for a Regional Arts Council?  9 feb 2012
Putting It All Together: Tracy Hudak  3 feb 2012
Arts Candidates Sweep Ventura City Council Elections 18 nov 2011
Irving Foundation Grants for the 805 28 oct 2011
Ventura Wins Arts Destination Award  25 jul 2011

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