André Martínez Reed
Judith Nilson Paintings / Drawings
Dec 2 2010, Opening Reception Thurs. Dec 2, 6 to 9 PM
A set of richly-pigmented, finely-detailed, abstract paintings and drawing by Brooklyn artist Judith Nilson will go on display at Henry Gregg Gallery in DUMBO on Thursday December 2nd.
Working from a base of intense color – several of these paintings emerge from dark graphite layers – they develop a patina-like network of fine markings.
These intimate marks, mostly made with the edge of a razor, resolve into complex forms that evoke both biomorphic and geological features. As the marks extend over the surface and into the depths of the picture, an over-arching composition emerges that contains tense emotional passages, where time moves at slow, almost evolutionary pace.
The paintings are fairly large sized and include both a new diptych and a new triptych. All are distinguished with the deep overall color saturation of a Turner or a Rothko, vibrantly visible from a distance. But as the viewer moves forward, Nilson’s smaller, ‘hand-sized’, markings become more clearly defined, and the viewer is presented with an interior universe that has its own set of precepts and rules, where each element is integral to the whole yet stands apart as its own independent creation.
The most recent painting, a triptych, Is inspired by Nilson’s interest in hand scribed medieval religious manuscripts, as well as smaller “Books of Hours“, commissioned by royalty and/or wealthy patrons. The sphere shaped entities seen in these pieces represent a non-objective, life force, reminiscent of religious and instructional illuminations of this period. The faux text, intimate drawings in and of themselves, complete the “tablets“ of these contemporary narratives. All of the works have a maturity and authority that can only come after years of observation, drawing, and painting. These are not fast, conceptual pieces; they present a slower meditative vision, reveling in the complexities of color, abstract narrative and line.
Judith Nilson has been received numerous awards and grants for her painting, including a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant and a Special Opportunity grant from the New York Foundation for the Arts.
This will be her first one-woman show at Henry Gregg Gallery. Please join us at a reception for the artist on Thursday December 2 from 6 to 9 PM.