Erik ReeL in his studio with collector, sociologist, documentary filmmaker, and feminist scholar extraordinaire, France Winddance Twine, 2018. Photo: Rhonda P. Hill.
Born 1952 in Seattle
Based in Portland, Oregon
1980-82 University of Washington, graduate study in art history, criticism
1976 London, Paris, independent study, private grant
1975 BA summa cum laude, University of Washington, Seattle
1974 University of California, Berkeley
1971-73 Whitman College, Walla Walla, Washington
Selected Solo and Two-Person Shows
Sheehan Gallery, Whitman College, Walla Walla, Washington 2025 [upcoming]
What is so lovely about the end of the world? PLACE, Portland, Oregon 2023
Erik ReeL : Zero Point, GraySpace Gallery, Santa Barbara, California 2018
Epiphany, Erik ReeL with Diane Silver, Porch Gallery, Ojai, California 2017
Erik ReeL : Full Circle, Morris Graves Museum of Art, Eureka, California (catalog) 2016
Silence, SCIART, Camarillo, California 2014
Standing in Boots, Erik ReeL with Nash Rightmer, WAV Projects, Ventura 2014
Rebar at the Tool Room, Museum of Ventura County, Ventura, California 2014
Tabula Rasa, 643 Project Space, Ventura, California 2013
60 @ 60, Ventura, California 2012
Markings, B Street Project Space, Oxnard, California 2011
Signs of a Lost Civilization, Vita Arts Center, Bell Arts Factory, Ventura, California 2011
Viva la Vida, Laurel Ventura Gallery, Ventura, California 2009
Turbulence, Erik ReeL with Vonder Gray, Galerie 251, Ventura, California 2009
Caruso Woods Gallery, Santa Barbara 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008
Santa Barbara Visitors Bureau and Film Commission, California 2003
UCSB Faculty Club, Santa Barbara 2001, 2003, 2008
Delphine Gallery, Santa Barbara 2000, 2001, 2002 (2), 2003
Thirty Drawings, Mazey Hickey Gallery, Seattle 1987
Figure: Narrative, Whatcom County Museum, Bellingham, Washington 1986
123 Jackson Street Gallery, Seattle 1983, 1984, 1985
Testament, Cornish Institute for Allied Arts, Seattle 1984
Face to Face, Seattle Pacific University, Seattle1984
I Dream the Shattering Price of Wisdom, Ace Studios, Seattle 1983
and/or alternative space, Seattle 1979, 1981
Facing Death, Evergreen State College, Olympia, Washington 1979
A Reading After Robbe Grillet, performance, Cabaret Apocalypse, Seattle 1977
Alexander Sasanoff Gallery, Seattle 1975, 1977
Selected Collective Shows
Butler Institute for American Art, Youngstown, Ohio 2018
Morris Graves Museum of Art, Eureka, California 2017
Objects of Impossibility: Contemporary Abstraction, Sullivan Goss Gallery, Santa Barbara 2017
Art For Living, Czong Institute for Contemporary Art, Seoul 2017
For the Earth: Art for Global Ecology, Postmodern, Washington DC 2016
Out of the Great Wide Open, Museum of Contemporary Art, Santa Barbara 2015
Sullivan Goss Gallery, Santa Barbara 2013, 2014
Art For Peace, Vita Art Center, Bell Arts Center, Ventura 2013
SCIART, Camarillo, California 2012, 2013
Print Electronico, computer-generated art, Buenos Aires 2010
Epocha Nueva, Casa Del Mexicano, Santa Paula, California 2010
Museum of Ventura County, Ventura, California 2009, 2014, 2015
California State University Channel Islands [curated by Jack Reilly], California 2009
I-5 Gallery, Los Angeles 2008
Erik ReeL and Friends at the Love House, Love House, Ventura, California 2008
Earth and Sky, Galerie 251, Ventura, California 2008
Rainbow Alliance Show, Rainbow Alliance LGBTQ Support Network, Ventura, California 2007
Picasso, Chagall, and Contemporary Master Prints, Modern Masters Gallery, Palm Desert, California 2006
71st SAGA Annual Print Show, Society of American Graphic Artists [SAGA], New York 2004
17th Parkside National Print Exhibition, University of Wisconsin 2004
Works on Paper [curated by Matthew Pruit, Menil Sr Curator] McNeese State University, Louisiana 2004
Montpelier Center for the Arts, Montpelier, Virginia 2004
24th National Print Exhibition, ArtLink Contemporary, Fort Wayne, Indiana 2004
Las Vegas Center for Art and Design, Las Vegas, New Mexico 2004
Landscape Unlimited, abstract landscape, Chicago 2004
Caruso Woods Gallery, Santa Barbara 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008
Penumbral/Palindrome, scrim, Signal+Noise, Media Arts & Technology, Center for Research in Electronic Art Technology (CREATE), UCSB 2003
Elizabeth Edwards Gallery, Palm Desert, California 2003, 2005, 2006
Linda Moore Gallery, San Diego 2003
Lisa Kurts Gallery, Memphis, Tennessee 2002, 2003
Contemporary Art Forum Santa Barbara 2000, 2001, 2002
World Peace, Pavilion for World Peace, Kobe, Japan 2000
Artists for World Peace, Karpeles Museum, Santa Barbara 2000
Henry Art Gallery, University of Washington, Seattle 1986
New York, LA, Seattle, Center on Contemporary Art (COCA), Seattle, Los Angeles, New York 1985
City of Seattle Collects [curated by Howard Fox, LACMA], Seattle Art Museum Pavilion 1984
East / West Dialogue, curated by Gene Barto, Brooklyn Museum of Art], Seattle Art Museum, Seattle 1984
Testament, performance with dancers, Cornish Institute For The Arts, Seattle 1984
Silver Birds, performance, sound collage with Sue Ann Harkey, Seattle Art Museum Pavilion, Seattle 1981
Burning Angels, performance with dancers, Virginia Street Studio, Seattle 1984
Krakatoa Kriterion, curated by Erik ReeL, 123 Jackson Street Gallery, Seattle 1984
123 Jackson Street Gallery, Seattle 1983, 1984, 1985
Silver Birds, performance with musician Sue Ann Harkey, Seattle Art Museum Pavilion, Seattle 1981
Voices of Tomorrow, performance with Stuart Dempster, Kathleen Hunt, Polly Friedlander Gallery, Seattle 1981
Night Mind, Dark Voices, performance with musician Sue Ann Harkey, Seattle Art Museum, Seattle 1981
Silver Birds, performance with dancers, Virginia Street studio 1980
Foster/White Gallery, Seattle1980
William Traver Gallery, Seattle 1979
Kodak International, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington DC 1979
Angels, performance with dancer, featured reader, Poetry Seattle, 1979
A Reading After Robbe-Grillet, performance with dancer, featured reader, Poetry Seattle 1978
Nacreous Passion, Performance, choreographed by Kathleen Hunt, Washington Hall, Seattle 1978
6500 x 20, art created on a Xerox 6500, and/or, Seattle 1978
Bellevue Art Museum, Seattle 1978
Flux Fest [curated by George Maciunas] and/or alternative space, Seattle 1977
National Drawing Show [curated by Wayne Thiebaud] Del Mar Museum, Corpus Christie, Texas 1976
Improvisational Ensemble, Sam Rivers, Fred Hubbard, Whitman College, Walla Walla, Washington 1973
Represented in private collections based in Barcelona, Berlin, Buenos Aires, Chicago, Dubai, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Houston, Indianapolis, London, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York City, Oakland, Paris, San Francisco, San Diego, Santa Barbara, Santa Fe [NM], Seattle, and Seoul. Public collections include the Morris Graves Museum of Art, Seattle City Light, City of Seattle, Czong Institute of Contemporary Art, Museum of Ventura County, Whitman College.
Color Theory for Professionals, Pioneer Square Art Education Foundation, Seattle 1981-1984
University of Washington, Seattle, art history as graduate student TA 1980
Seattle Central College, color theory, painting, life drawing, art history, design 1978-1983
Fort Worden Gifted High School Program, Pt. Townsend, Washington 1978, 1979
Governor's Award for Public Service, Washington State, 1985
Seattle Arts Commission Special Task Force on Media 1977
Seattle Arts Commission Special Task Force on Educational Institutions 1977
Pterodactyl Cries: Art, Abstraction, and Apocalypse, book, 2021
Society805.com online magazine, arts editor, art and drama writer 2011-2018
At The Corral, script, performed by The School Children's Theatre, Boulder, Colorado 1988
Schnegeruschka, script, performed by The School Children's Theatre, Boulder, Colorado 1988
Akbar's Market, script, performed by The School Children's Theatre, Boulder, Colorado 1987
Columnist on art, Bellevue Journal-American daily newspaper, Seattle 1979-1983
Arts Editor, Seattle Voice Magazine 1979-1980
International Correspondent for art magazines including Vanguard, ArtExpress 1978-1982
West Coast correspondent, High Performance 1978-1981
Northwest Correspondent, ArtWeek 1978-1981
Selected Artists Talks
Neither Supernatural Nor Mechanical, Artists Talk/interview, Whitman College, 2021.
Full Circle: NW School, with Jae Carlsson, Morris Graves Museum of Art, panel performance, 2016
From Fluxus to Rebar, Artists Talk, Museum of Ventura County, Ventura, California, 2014.
Lecture in conjunction with solo exhibition at Whatcom County Museum, Bellingham, Washington, 1986
Panel on contemporary painting, Whatcom County Museum, Bellingham, Washington, 1986.
Symposium on Visual Art and Media: Politics and Critique. Seattle Media Library, 1985.
Critics Symposium on Painting, Western Washington University, Bellingham, Washington, 1985.
Titian to Clemente: Transformations in the Painterly Tradition in Italy, Cornish Institute of the Arts, 1984.
The Rebirth of Painting. Public lecture, Seattle Art Museum, 1984.
Dialectics of Transavantguardism: Wolfgang Max Faust vs. Germano Celant, Seattle Public Library, 1984.
The Berlin Wall, Urban Graffiti, and the New Painting, Seattle Pacific University, 1984.
Sources in My Work, public lecture, Cornish Institute for the Arts, Seattle, 1984.
Painting Today, Public lecture, Cornish Institute for the Arts, Seattle, 1984.
Painterly Painting, Again, Public lecture, Seattle Art Museum, 1984.
Late Painting: Picasso, Matisse, de Chirico, Chagall, et alia, Public lecture, Seattle Art Museum, 1983.
Late de Chirico and the Next Generation: Clemente, Palladino, Cucci, Public lecture, Seattle Central College, 1983.
Teaching Color Theory: Preparing for a Digital World, Lecture series, Seattle Public Library, 1983.
Teaching Color Theory: Preparing for a Digital World, Lectures, Seattle Central College, 1983.
Color Theory: The Bauhaus Tradition Today: Itten, Klee, Albers, Dahn, ReeL, lecture, Seattle Central College, 1982.
Color Theory: Gerrittsen Schema, Visual Constancies, Color Effect, and Painting, Seattle Central College, 1981.
An Objective Criterion for Temperature Contrast: Itten was Wrong, Seattle Central College Auditorium, 1981.
Fluxus Flumoxed, Lecture commemorating George Maciunas, Fluxus founder, Seattle Masonic Hall, 1980.
Color Theory: Preparing Visual Artists for the Computer Age. Seattle Public Library, 1980.
Color Theory Today: Why Classical Mixing Theories Do Not Work, Seattle Public Library, 1980.
Color Theory: Gerrittsen Schema, Transmission Curves, and Digital Representations, Seattle Central College, 1980.
Color Theory: A Comprehensive Conceptual Scheme for Artists and Designers, Seattle Public Library, 1980.
Visual Constancies in the Teaching of Color Theory to Artists and Designers, Seattle Central College, 1980.
Edwin Land and Impacts on Color Theory: What Artists Need to Know, Seattle Central College, 1980.
Cafe Apocalypse: Performance Art Today, Evergreen State College, 1979.
Performance Art Today: Sources and Contexts, Public lecture, Washington Hall, Seattle, 1979.
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, 2011