Erika Jaeggli was born in Baltimore, MD and received her B.A. in art history from Columbia University, M.A. from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts Interactive Telecommunications Program, and M.F.A in Drawing and Painting from the University of North Texas. Her work has been shown in Texas, California, Maryland and Missouri. Most recently, her work could be seen in a solo exhibition entitled ‘Peep in the Deep’ at Arts Fort Worth, which featured work based on her field research into caves of Texas. Jaeggli’s work is featured in the current issue of New American Paintings, and has been twice in Studio Visit Magazine. She is a Board Member of Texas Vignette, a non-profit dedicated to promoting and supporting women in the arts in Texas. She has been artist-in-residence at the Dallas Arboretum. Recent notable accomplishment is making on-site work at the Boedeker Building, a historical 100-year old former ice cream factory in Dallas, TX. Additionally, she was a 2021 recipient of the The Otis and Velma Davis Dozier Travel Grant from the Dallas Museum of Art. Currently, Jaeggli lives and works in Dallas, TX.
I create paintings based on caves and alternative perspectives of landscape. My practice includes encaustic paintings, digital prints, site-specific installation, and paintings. Caves are an integral part of my visual research with their other-worldly formations, intensely varied color patterns and bodily flows. The time I have spent inside the earth has changed me and the way I think about our ecosystem. To me, it feels like being inside a living, breathing body. I view bodies as visceral beings that are porous with our environment. I am interested in the fluidity of the sensate body that is always in communication with itself and its surroundings. Using raw pigment, found objects, rain and wax in my process, my paintings are artifacts of a time and space. Through repeatedly rubbing, washing and scraping surfaces over time, I work with the language of abstraction to evoke a guttural response and point to a raw, interior space. Research plays a large role in my work. My visual language is informed by imagery that is often difficult to see – scopes of the internal body, ultrasound and x-ray imagery, photos taken by the Hubble telescope, microscopic images showing viral makeup of Covid-19, and underground cave systems. Entering into unknown, dark places serves as a literal and metaphorical starting point for me and my process of working. I seek connections between the micro and macro, always trying to come to terms with our place on the planet. The larger question for me is understanding the interdependency of how we exist within our environment and how our environment exists in us.