Eric Sall was born and raised in South Dakota, and started oil painting when he was 15. Living in a tiny mountain town in the Black Hills he found solace in the culture of skateboarding and snowboarding which still resonates in his graphic paintings today. He moved to Kansas City when he was 18 to attend the Kansas City Art Institute, and felt as if he moved to the 'big city'. Upon graduation he moved from loft to loft in Kansas City's West Bottoms historic repurposed buildings, sometimes stretching his studio across a 5,000 square foot space. Industrial spaces like those found in Kansas City and New York City have been influential to Sall's work. While living in an old loft in a paper recycling plant in Brooklyn's Dumbo neighborhood, the colossal Manhattan Bridge loomed large overhead, within stones throw of his studio. He also spent a good part of 5 years amongst the high-rise buildings and commercial districts of midtown Manhattan, where he worked as a preparator at the Museum of Modern Art. On the other end of the spectrum, Eric has also lived in remote areas, most recently in the middle of a 40 acre compound outside of Roswell, NM, and a sense of open space is equally important to Sall's work. Whether talking metaphorically within a painting's acknowledgment of the seemingly endless scale of the prairie or vast beauty of the empty desert, or literally referencing patterns and designs found in more urban environments, both street culture and the natural environment with all it's grand vistas play a huge part of Sall's upbringing and inspiration.
Sall is constantly on the move. Throughout the past decade and a half as a visual artist he has moved his studio over a dozen times for various opportunities that have supported his painting career, each time absorbing a sense of place from the last. Kansas City is where he honed his studio practice and continues to be an important city in both his personal and professional life. Other places that have shaped his work and life are in New Mexico, Virginia, New York, Iowa, and South Dakota.
Sall currently resides in Tulsa, Oklahoma with his wife (artist Rachel Hayes) and their children Wyatt and Shea. In December, 2019, Eric will have an exhibition at the Philbrook Museum of Art in Tulsa. Together as a family they collect tapestries, rugs, records, plants, chairs, and doors, amongst many other things. Eric's website is here.
Eric's most recent exhibition in Kansas City is reviewed here by Elisabeth Kirsch: KC Studio
In late 2019, we featured Eric and Rachel Hayes in a two person exhibition Affinities.