Erik Olson

Erik Olson "Moonrise", 2018, oil on canvas, 71" x 55"
Erik Olson "Moonrise", 2018, oil on canvas, 71" x 55"

Erik Olson creates paintings with an authentic visual language. His works are recognized for their fragmented combination of figurative and abstract elements and bold application of vivid color. Often developing from the artist’s response to a singular field of color, Olson’s paintings further evolve through a directness of approach to brushstroke, layout, and subject matter.

Olson explores a variety of content, but the human figure and portraiture continue to be a central focus of his practice. People that are familiar to the artist become the subject of deeply personal works. Influenced by master painters Lucien Freud and Henri Matisse among others, Olson’s portraits capture both the unique physical characteristics and emotional qualities of his subjects.

Olson earned a bachelor’s degree from Emily Carr University of Art + Design (2007). In 2014/2015, he attended the critically acclaimed art academy, Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, as a guest student of internationally renowned artist/professor Peter Doig. Olson has been the subject of solo exhibitions in major cities across Canada and internationally in Europe and the United States. He currently lives and works in Düsseldorf, Germany.


“Erik Olson Experiments with Vibrant Non-Traditional Portraiture”, JUXTAPOZ, 2017 

“Bold Portraits Pack Punch”, THE LONDON FREE PRESS, 2016

“Erik Olson Paints His Peers”, BLOUIN ARTINFO, 2016

“Calgary painter Erik Olson’s portraits reflect wild time at historic art academy, Kunstakademie Dusseldorf”,  CALGARY HERALD, 2016