Erik Parker: A gooey-looking mess of viscera

Erik Parker, “Stuck, 2009, acrylic on canvas, 43 1/8 x 39 3/4.”  Image from Paul Kasmin’s website.
 Erik Parker, “Rize,” 2009, acrylic on canvas, 52 x 42.” Image from Paul Kasmin’s website.

Erik Parker, “Halfmade Man.” Image via Proteus Blog

Brooklynite Erik Parker, who describes his garishly colored, undulating portrait-text paintings as fragmented samples of our culture, has a show up at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth through Sunday. In ArtForum the show is designated a Critic’s Pick, with Benjamin Lima writing that the paintings’ ambiguity is what makes them compelling. “Are these creatures disintegrating or coalescing? Are they in pleasure or pain? Especially arresting is ‘Half Made Man,’ 2010, which shows a gooey-looking mess of viscera completely pulled apart from any recognizable skeletal structure; this work enacts an ecstatic triumph of figurative invention over the constraints of realistic modeling….Parker�s ability to channel seemingly bottomless reserves of pictorial energy into sharply designed compositions  accounts for his work�s ongoing appeal.”

Say What Focus: Erik Parker,” Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Fort Worth, TX. Through February 6, 2011.

Additional reading:

Charlie Finch writes a snimsical (or, snidely whimsical) poem-review about Parker’s 2000 show at Leo Koenig.

At Artkrush, Paul Laster’s review of a 2010 show at  Faurschou in Copenhagen: “Biomorphic and surreal, Parker�s canvases both enchant and repulse. They mix chaos and order, while reflecting the deep inner thoughts of an artist who never really stops thinking � especially not while painting.”

Wedding Vows: Erik Parker and Brooke Dunn “They first spoke as both were in line waiting for the bathroom at Black Betty. They exchanged numbers, but Mr. Parker said he did not want to seem overeager by calling right away. Instead, he made sure to be where she was — on the platform at her subway stop, in front of her stoop. ‘I call it friendly stalking,’ he said…. Although they are a downtown couple, they decided to head uptown for their wedding. On May 19, they were married at Tavern on the Green, with about 180 people in attendance, many of them artists. All the tables were named after artists: A Matisse table, a Picasso table, an Erik Parker table…..”

var a2a_config = a2a_config || {};
a2a_config.linkname = “Two Coats of Paint”;
a2a_config.linkurl = “https://www.twocoatsofpaint.com”;
a2a_config.prioritize = [“delicious”, “email”, “linkedin”, “twitter”, “tumblr”, “stumbleupon”, “facebook”, “blogger_post”, “google_gmail”, “google_buzz”, “digg”, “aim”];


  1. I don't know if I'm supposed to enjoy "Halfmade Man" of not(?) yet, I do. I find it beautiful and disturbing. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Paul Kasmin is suffering from dementia.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *