We are pleased to present Erik Olson’s fifth solo exhibition, “Hold The Line”, new paintings capturing the people and places from his epic motorcycle journey across America.
Since April, Olson has been riding his 2018 Triumph Bonneville motorcycle from Vancouver down the West Coast Highway stopping in Palo Alto, Big Sur and L.A. After L.A., he headed east through Joshua Tree, El Paso and Marfa on his way to New Orleans then up to New York City and Woodstock, NY. He arrived in London on July 1 ready to begin painting in a new studio space located upstairs the gallery.
The paintings included in our exhibition explore people and place. Through his expressive colour, fragmented line and exuberant brushwork, Olson gives us an energetic and distinct portrait of America. They represent his adventurous solo journey and are reflective of time spent on the open road, exposed to the elements and changing conditions. Some locations he sought out, like “Big Pink”, the Woodstock, NY house that served as the setting for Bob Dylan and The Band’s famous Basement Tapes, while other places, like “El Paso” and “Joshua Tree” were unforeseen discoveries.
Vivid memories of people are represented in portraits of a tuba player from a lively street party in New Orleans, a guitar player busking in New York City, a hopeful immigrant girl from Juarez, Mexico and an exuberant child thrilled to make her first painting.
Along with the ubiquitous American gas station and a lush stretch of a highway, Olson has also painted a gutsy portrait of his bike, the iconic Bonneville that guided him on his journey.
We are honoured to present this monumental body of work, a joyful celebration of time spent on the road.