Eric Kaiser, artiste peintre


"Eric Kaiser at Pi Gallery", by Andrea S. Norris, article published in Review, October 2006

"Terror Tourists", by Alexandra E. Fox, article published in The Pitch, August 2006


Text by Marie Annick Gaudare:
« We Know But… »

Eric Kaiser's new work will be presented again at the Pi Gallery (Kansas City) starting the 4th of August. In the new series, Eric Kaiser expresses his concerns about what, as individuals, we know through the intense coverage by the media which we refuse to believe or decide to ignore for the safety of our conscience.

In his new work, the artist uses a strong figurative approach (close to the academic work of nudes and portraits) associated to a background treatment mixing abstract techniques to narrative painting. The iconographic work recreates “familiar collective themes” that the media has worn out, to the point of the viewer’s “indifference”: Abou Grahib prison, Tchernobyl nuclear reactor, soldier training camps in Iraq, terrorism threat, decaying environment, etc.

Despite the political views inherently existing in the paintings, the artist does not wish to demonstrate these. The act of showing in itself triggers a questioning and lets the viewer decide her or his point of view.

The paintings of Eric Kaiser reveal also a real jubilation at exploring the impact of colors, controlling the hazard of dripping techniques and creating a narrative background. Still, what dominates Eric Kaiser’s work is the representation of the body. This body does no longer fight between light and darkness as in Kaiser’s previous series, “Prisoners of light”.

In his new series the body has a face or it becomes a face, but a face without a mouth in the literal and figurative sense. The absence of the mouth suggests we have to use our own narrative to complete the story. A story that reminds us of a disturbing reality: “We know but we do not want to believe what we know”.

Marie Annick Gaudaré
professeur d’arts plastiques (Académie de Nancy-Metz)
June 2006


To show his work in Kansas City is for Eric Kaiser is a way to get recognition for his talent and a way to reach fulfillment through the delivery of his new series of paintings. His complete engagement in this new exhibition has lead to a liberation and a personalization of his painting skills.

« For a long time, I had to prove myself that I was a painter, but a painter in the very traditional and academic sense. My work on the male nude kind of legitimizes my status and my value as a painter. A value that I pursue and admire in XVIIth century painters like Carravagio, the master of the expression of light and tension. But I wanted to go beyond that true male nude academism, beyond the « Beau ideal » that Winckelmann established as a model. Even if I still feel a bit prisoner of the academism dogma of pure proportion and representation, I want to break away from that. Francis Bacon has managed to break away from it. The series « Prisoners of Light » is definitely leading me into this direction. »

Eric Kaiser first paintings are pure lyrical and rhythmical abstractions. Crosses, stains, strokes, drips and dribbles compose his pictorial language. But rapidly he focuses on the human representation, that he places at the top of his favorite pictorial genre.

In Paris in 1999-2000, Eric Kaiser is chosen among several painters to show in exclusivity his paintings. This is when he sells his first paintings. From this first opportunity to exhibit his work emerged the series « Main-nu-tension », male nudes arched, floating, falling or thrown in the air. From the subjects we cannot recognize their faces that disappear behind a close up hand always featured in the foreground. A hand that is hiding as much as it is revealing. This series will nourish the iconography of the painter. It will also reveal Eric Kaiser main preoccupations, a conflicting dialogue between shadow and light, between drama, secrecy and revelation. It will also bring out the search for a well mastered plastic construction, playing with « raccourcis », volumes, colors, « clairs-obscurs ». Eric Kaiser will join the « Ecole Nationale des Beaux Arts de Paris » in order to enhance his painting skills. He will engage soon after in the other very academic exercise of portraits where he will capture in a very tactful way the expressions of closely related people.

A lot of artists are influential to his work : Caravaggio, Egon Schiele, Lucian Freud, Jean Rustin, Vladimir Velickovic, all for their specific approach of the male nude. When it comes to abstract painting, his reference are inclined towards, Sam Francis for the chromatic inspiration and Soulages for the richness of the blacks.

Marie Annick Gaudaré
Professeur d’arts plastiques (Académie de Nancy-Metz, France)
June 2005