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Erik Hougen at Sugarlift

Erik Hougen is immersed in the medium of print. He is a visiting professor at Pratt Institute, where he teaches printmaking classes, and he works as a master printer at Lower East Side Printshop. Working at the latter allows him to collaborate with other artists, which in turn informs his own creative process. Hougen has a BFA from Minnesota State University and an MFA from Pratt Institute. His work is currently on view at the Affordable Art Fair with Brooklyn-based gallery Sugarlift.

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Twenty Miles in Eight Hours, 4:27:54′ (2016), Silkscreen on paper, 21×28in (53.3×71.1cm), Edition of 6. © Erik Hougen, Courtesy of Sugarlift
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4:54:53′ (2015), Silkscreen on Paper, 21×28in (53.3×71.1cm), Edition of 6. © Erik Hougen, Courtesy of Sugarlift.

Starting out as digital photographs, his silkscreens are essentially a narrative of America. Snapshots from his own journeys have become anonymous: the images create a sense of nostalgia without specifying what it is you are longing for. In his archives, photos get lost and resurface after years, on purpose perhaps, so that the places he visited become as much of a mystery to him as to the viewer. Says Hougen: “[My works] suggest an America that is familiar, yet one without a concrete plot or details to provide a specific reason, agenda, or story.”

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3:33:05′ (2015), Silkscreen on Paper, 21×28in (53.3×71.1cm), Edition of 6. © Erik Hougen, Courtesy of Sugarlift.
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2:16:16′ (2015), Silkscreen on Paper, 21×28in, (53.3×71.1cm), Edition of 6. © Erik Hougen, Courtesy of Sugarlift.

I often hear collectors complain about the fact that great contemporary art is becoming unaffordable. I disagree. There is so much great art out there that is produced by talented, driven artists like Hougen. Still affordable (no pun intended), with an already impressive resume, Hougen is only going to continue producing really good work.

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‘Brittle Lapels’ (2016), Silkscreen on canvas, 48×60in, 121.9×152.4cm, Edition of 3. © Erik Hougen, Courtesy of Sugarlift.

Erik’s work can be viewed on the Sugarlift website and is currently on view at the Affordable Art Fair at The Metropolitan Pavilion, 125 West 18th Street (between 6th and 7th Avenues), New York City. The art fair closes on 3 April.