The Hole presents its fifth solo exhibition of new works by Sky Valley –based artist Eric Yahnker (b. 1976). An opening art party was held on September 16, 2023. The solo exhibition will run through October 28, 2023.

The Hole Eric Yahnker

Yahnker lived in Los Angeles for 40 years until, in what he calls a “reverse David Hockney,” he moved away to gain some perspective. In a corkboard-covered front room he pins up in conspiracy-style an assortment of interrelated images. These 26 drawings and two video works in Lost Angeles are about getting lost. This includes mourning loss, and completely losing it in LA.

The Hole Los Angeles; courtesy of gallery

Eric Yahnker 

Fresh out of CalArts in the early aughts, Yahnker worked as an animator for South Park, MADtv, Seinfeld and a slew of commercials. It all changed on the day he turned to the artist he would one day marry and said “You look like you’re having more fun than I am.” It was 2004, and Yahnker was working on a Microsoft campaign called “We See Your Potential.” He quit, found a studio space on Skid Row and stayed there for 16 years. He started by first making labor-intensive conceptual works like American Socrates, 2006 (Stephen R. Covey’s “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” re-written with his foot), and Beegeesus, 2005 (a bible completely whited-out except for the letters that sequentially spell “BeeGees”).

Eric Yahnker Today

The Yahnker of today works in drawing mediums on paper, but it’s that same satirist’s spirit, underpinned by a fanatical commitment to his projects, that unites his oeuvre. From a technical standpoint, Yahnker has embraced draftsmanship with such delight that he likes leaving patches of cross-hatching or some of his first marks visible, rather than obscuring his effort by pushing colors to full saturation, what he calls “finish fetish.”

Of the nine panoramic landscapes in pastel on sandpaper, four are titled Lost Angeles (Balloon Ride), featuring a vaquero astride a Jeff Koons balloon dog, lasso mid-swing, surveying a dramatic cityscape. In another, Lost Angeles #24, Kobe Bryant’s jersey floats high in an evening sky over the valley. There are boobs under a baby tee and velour-clad Juicy™ butts, center-frame, upstaging the Hollywood sign. These drawings are cinematic and evocative in a way that needs no explanation, but if you were to ask Yahnker about them he might say, “Did you know Los Angeles is short for El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Ángeles del Río Porciúncula?” or, “There was a time when I myself had sculpted eyebrows and frosted tips.”

The Hole Eric Yahnker

The art of Eric Yahnker; courtesy of the gallery and artist

Eric Yahnker Exhibitions

Eric Yahnker (b. 1976, Torrance, CA) works primarily in large-scale drawings. After studying journalism at USC, Yahnker received a BFA in animation from California Institute of the Arts. Since 2008, Yahnker has had solo exhibitions at The Hole in New York, Kim Light, Ambach & Rice, and Zevitas Marcus in Los Angeles, Paradise Row in London and Jeanroch Dard in Paris. His first museum solo exhibition, The Long Goodbye, took place at CAM Raleigh in North Carolina.

On view: September 16, 2023 – October 28, 2023

What: Solo Exhibition, Eric Yahnker
Where: The Hole Los Angeles, 844 N La Brea Ave., LA, 90038
When: Running thru October 28, 2023

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