April 6, 2008

How Thomas Nozkowski scaled back the rules and rhetoric

I forgot to include the three small Nozkowski paintings at the Armory Show on my list of most compelling small-scale paintings at the recent NYC fairs. At Daily Gusto, Harry reports about the Thomas Nozkowski lecture he attended at the Fisher Landau Center in Long Island City, Queens. The occasion was a small survey of Nozkowski's paintings there (until April 14). Pace Wildenstein also has a show up, of Nozkowski's most recent work (until May 3). "Nozkowski recalled going to a gallery in Soho as a young painter and seeing a show with just one 40-foot long abstract canvas. He realized that something was off in the context of abstraction. 'Our rhetoric was totally someplace else.' He said he thought these huge works were paintings designed for people downtown painters despised. He decided to reevaluate his assumptions -- and instead of creating gargantuan canvases, he started working on a small scale. He wanted to make paintings that would work in his friends' tenement apartments. He said almost half of the paintings at the Fisher Landau Center were done on canvas board out of a deliberate decision to work with a humble, everyday material." Read more.

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