Eric Yahnker
Heavy Lemons




May 20th – June 20th, 2021

OPENING: Thursday, May 20th from 6-9pm at 312 Bowery, New York NY 10012

The Hole is proud to present our fourth solo exhibition by Eric Yahnker. I almost called him “master draftsman” after thirteen years of his unbelievably skilled drawings and works on paper; however, this show will be his first solo show of oil paintings.

Using dry wit, humor and political and pop culture references, Eric Yahnker produces satirical commentary on American life. With a background in journalism, television and animation, Yahnker is no stranger to the American experience and can’t help but poke some serious fun. Whether his work depicts a cultural icon, world leader, or Jacques Louis Davide’s Patroclus draped across an awesome green motorbike, Yahnker highlights the dark realities of our contemporary moment, but does so with a self-described hopeful optimism.

For this show Yahnker meditates on the “lost” pandemic year:

Kind of inevitable that one of the main motivating factors of my upcoming show is thinking about this past year of necessitated global inertia—a B.C. to A.D. moment where everything we used to know suddenly froze or was trapped in amber, a parabolic melted clock permanently stopped at the precise moment of a bomb’s detonation. Almost overnight, a huge number of us became ’non-essential’ unwitting houseplants, instructed to be as inanimate as we could afford to be for the greater good of humanity, while the ‘essential’ were instantly drafted to trench-less front lines with only a cotton mask and Purell in their holsters. It’s certainly no secret that most of the excruciating brunt avalanched on those who have unfortunately always borne our worst avalanches, but it is also inescapable that all our lives were in their own unique ways upended and forever altered.

Setting aside the obvious massive bungling failures at the highest levels of government and a mind-numbing loss of life, I wanted to make a show that made allusions to the abrupt halt of individual human elastic potential energy—the smaller, less definable paper cuts not necessarily as headline-grabbing as death, shuttered businesses and canceled events.  I’m thinking more about unrequited love and missed connections, sage affirmations of mentors and teachers, gentle torch passing from grandparent to grandchild, rehabilitative interactions for the socially awkward, or even the casual joke that no longer makes sense, all left mid-swing or potentially forever torpedoed.  Like a tennis player lobbing a ball high in the air preparing to serve, muscles coiled, flexed, locked and loaded to swing, only to find the ball remains perpetually suspended above her. Where does all this tension go while awaiting the ball to drop?  Do our gears, springs and cogs wear down and rust in place, or when gravity finally unlocks again will we simply swing through and crush our serve like normal?  The truth is that none of us actually know.

An opening event will be held on Thursday, May 20 from 6 to 8pm following all appropriate COVID-19 precautions.

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Eric Yahnker, Heavy Lemons, 2021. Oil on canvas, 36 x 36 inches, 91 x 91 cm.



Eric Yahnker, Bulletproof Boy Scout, 2021. Oil on canvas, 31.5 x 22.5 inches, 80 x 57 cm.



Eric Yahnker, Rock Meets Hard Place, 2021. Oil on canvas, 12 x 16 inches, 31 x 41 cm.



Eric Yahnker, End Table, 2021. Oil on canvas, 72 x 48 inches, 183 x 122 cm.



Eric Yahnker, Waxing Gibbous, 2021. Oil on canvas, 48 x 48 inches, 122 x 122 cm.



Eric Yahnker, Empty Met, 2021. Oil on canvas, 22.5 x 31.5 inches, 57 x 80 cm.



Eric Yahnker, Veil, 2021. Oil on canvas, 48 x 36 inches, 122 x 91 cm.



Eric Yahnker, Serena Waits, 2021. Oil on canvas, 48 x 66 inches, 122 x 168 cm.



Eric Yahnker, Arc of the Moral Universe, 2021. Oil on canvas, 48 x 72 inches, 122 x 183 cm.



Eric Yahnker, It’s A Small World, 2021. Oil on canvas, 36 x 36 inches, 91 x 91 cm.



Eric Yahnker, Spring Broken, 2021. Oil on canvas, 60 x 48 inches, 152 x 122 cm.



Eric Yahnker, Patroclus Inert, 2021. Oil on canvas, 48 x 60 inches, 122 x 152 cm.



Eric Yahnker, Cup Half Canceled, 2021. Oil on canvas, 24 x 18 inches, 61 x 46 cm.



Eric Yahnker, Just Do It, 2021. Oil on canvas, 11 x 13 inches, 28 x 33 cm.



Eric Yahnker, Disconnected, 2021. Oil on canvas, 48 x 36 inches, 122 x 91 cm.



Eric Yahnker, Rita Van Winkle, 2021. Oil on canvas, 20 x 12 inches, 51 x 31 cm.



Eric Yahnker, Cymbals, 2021. Oil on canvas, 72 x 96 inches, 183 x 244 cm.