TR Ericsson (b. 1972, US) was born in Cleveland, Ohio and lives and works in Brooklyn, NY and Painesville, OH. In the years following his mother's suicide in 2003, Ericsson amassed an archive that would lay the groundwork for his ongoing series Crackle & Drag. The title comes from the song Crackle and Drag by Paul Westerberg of the alt-rock band The Replacements and pays homage to the poet Sylvia Plath and her poem Edge: "Staring from her hood of bone./She is used to this sort of thing. Her blacks crackle and drag."
The artist's archive dates back to the early1900s, a store of artifacts he inherited from members of his maternal family including thousands of snapshots and reams of personal papers and correspondence documenting life in the American Midwest. Crackle & Drag makes a personal struggle public, coming to terms with the archive's power to determine the past and the future, even as it vanishes in time. In addition to this intimate collection of objects the artist has acquired an expansive home library of artist's books and monographs, criticism, fiction, philosophy and poetry of all periods.
Ericsson works in a variety of mediums including photography, video and audio technology, graphite, cast bronze, ceramic, stone, glass, wood, books and zines, industrial fabrication and found objects. His visual as well as verbal text based works have a graphic sensibility coupled with deadpan photo-conceptualism and fine art printing techniques that apply surprising material and process twists reflecting the DIY Punk spirit of his youth, as well as his training as a painter and draughtsman.
In his Nicotine works Ericsson uses cigarettes to stain drawings to paper in the same way the color of his mother's walls turned to a shade of tarnished gold as she smoked through the years before her death. Like artists Marc Quinn or Janine Antoni who use bodily materials to instill meaning in their work, Ericsson uses a silkscreen process and mixes his mother's funerary ashes into the printing medium, fusing traditional media with bodily material and photographic artifacts as a way to memorialize the object of his love and loss.
In 2015 the artists first solo museum exhibition, Crackle & Drag, opened at the Cleveland Museum of Art Transformer Station, accompanied by a Yale University Press monograph that was shortlisted for the Paris Photo-Aperture Foundation and Kraszna Krausz Book awards. In 2017, he had a second solo exhibition at the Everson Museum of Art in Syracuse, NY, titled "I Was Born to Bring You into This World". Other exhibitions include solo shows at Paul Kasmin Gallery and Francis M. Naumann Fine Art in New York, the Kunstahlle Marcel Duchamp in Cully, Switzerland and Harlan Levey Projects in Belgium.
His work is in the collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Dallas Museum of Art, the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Indianapolis Museum of Art, among others. His books and zines can be found in numerous library collections including the Yale University Arts Library, the Museum of Modern Art Library, and the Smithsonian Institution Libraries.
In 2018 Ericsson installed an outdoor bronze sculpture for a private collection in Northeast Ohio that includes works by Richard Serra, Sol Lewitt, Roxy Paine, AI Wei Wei, and Andy Goldsworthy. In 2019 one of his large scale "letter works" was included in the group exhibition Frederick Douglass: Embers of Freedom at SCAD Museum of art in Savannah, Georgia.