Eric Louie : Anatomy Of a Painting

Eric Louie, 'Fortress' (Before Reworking), 60x60, Oil on Canvas

Composed of many leaf-like metallic looking foils, Eric Louie’s works have a digital aesthetic despite being an analogue medium. They possess a chameleonic ability to exist comfortably among a multitude of aesthetics, from 1920s Art Deco and Mid-Century Modern into the forefront of contemporary design. He explores his ideas for the compositions through the program Procreate on the iPad, drawing on images of half-finished paintings and finding the next move. “Sometimes the choice is instantaneous”, explains Louie, “but often the search meanders down various rabbit holes of potential”.

The reworking of canvases has always been an essential element of a painters practice, but the process is rarely visible to anyone but the painter themselves. This article highlights one of the newly reworked abstract paintings by Louie that is part of his latest show Hide and Seek. The digital sketches from Louie’s iPad give an insight into the process of reworking one of his paintings that is shown above. When looking at Louie's digital sketches down below, the infinite possibilities that the style in which he paints offers become visible.

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“Like playing with a construction set, I build them up into arrangements, adding and subtracting until they feel complete”, says Louie. “Technology creates freedom of exploration that pushes beyond what was once practicable in earlier stages of my career. Still, there is a tension in my mind between the purity of working completely in analog space and the technological filter that has become essential to my current process.”

Louie admits he became addicted to sketching on the iPad as it becomes a certain filter. “I suppose there is that difference where looking in person can change depending on light, physical experience and presence of the work. Where as through photos things are static and can be seen with a greater clarity.”

“Is one way better than the other?” Louie asks himself, “Perhaps it is the synthesis of both that allows for the most interesting outcomes." His reworked painting Hold Me, pictured down below, "is born from the conditions of modern living, specifically our dependence on technology and social media.”

Eric Louie, 'Hold Me' (After Reworking), 60x60, Oil on Canvas


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