Project Space

Erika Ranee: Psychedelic Galactica

January 9 through February 17, 2019
Opening reception: January 9, 2019, 6–8pm

Erika Ranee, "Multitasking", 2018, Acrylic, shellac spray paint, paper collag.... Image #1351
Erika Ranee, "Multitasking", 2018 (detail). Image #1354
Erika Ranee, "Baby", 2018, ink and Flashe on paper, 12 x 12 inches. Image #1267
Erika Ranee, "Rewind", 2018, Acrylic, shellac, gouache, spray paint and paper.... Image #1352
Erika Ranee, "You Say That a Lot", 2018, Acrylic, shellac spray paint, Flashe.... Image #1353
Erika Ranee: Psychedelic Galactica (installation view). Image #1274




Erika Ranee: Psychedelic Galactica
January 9 – February 17, 2019
Opening Reception: Wednesday, January 9, 6–8pm

Lesley Heller is pleased to present a solo exhibition in the Project Space of recent paintings and works on paper by Erika Ranee.

Ranee builds her paintings slowly, layer by layer. She allows herself to completely follow her senses, losing herself in her creative process. The paintings begin with a pour of paint; and become with each new layer a time capsule on canvas. She adds bits of daily detritus and plants, or references to nature to create additional texture and express the small rhythms of life on a grand scale.

Ranee’s paintings are like reading pages from a journal.  Her work forces the viewer to slow down and dig deep into what she is revealing. Her personal story, as told through an abstract and intuitive process, becomes a counterpoint to the rapid transient impermanence of our age of digital communication.


My recent paintings express the hums and beats of small worlds writ large. I build each painting through a form of layering, drawing on the detritus of my daily experiences. I'm interested in the preservation of stories and in harnessing moments of stasis as a counterpoint to the transient impermanence of this digital communication age. I take cues from the cacophany of city streets, its sounds and smells, as well as from minute details from the natural world, and pull it all together in an intuitive visual freestyle. 

In the process of building layers artifacts are embedded, obscured and sometimes revisited in a viscose preserve of paint and shellac like prehistoric insects in amber. From memorializing a dead houseplant leaf, to excavating snippets from a buried layer of text, I follow the signs of what the painting needs. Liquid conduits and synapses connect and ooze through paint and water networks like blood cells and heartbeats. Delicate and brusque marks and sprays are applied in response to external and internal atmospheric rhythms. The challenge is to manifest this information visually. Like pages from a journal each artwork is an exercise in pushing paint around to articulate a time capsule on canvas.

-Erika Ranee


Erika Ranee (b. Los Angeles, CA) received her MFA in painting from the University of California, Berkeley. She is the recipient of a NYFA fellowship in Painting and has attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. She was an AIRSpace resident at Abrons Arts Center in 2009 and in 2011 was awarded a studio grant from The Marie Walsh Sharpe Art Foundation. Recent exhibition venues include Geoffrey Young Gallery, Southampton Arts Center, Lesley Heller Gallery, Klaus von Nichtssagend Gallery, Freight + Volume and two solo exhibitions at Ground Floor Gallery and BRIC/Project Room. She lives and works in New York.