“Artists who live together will always affect each other’s work–hard for us to imagine anything else. To have another consciousness, one that you trust, at close hand is always to be desired: a check on self-delusion for sure, and maybe even a goad forward.”
“Mutual Regards: Joyce Robins and Thomas Nozkowski,” an excellent, if small, show at Columbia University, featured a selection of paintings, drawings, sculptures, an installation and video, created individually by the artists, who have been together for more than four decades. An ongoing dialogue is evident in the aesthetic and experiential (rather than conceptual) approach they’ve engaged since the mid-1970s. Their close working relationship has stimulated exchanges of materials and process, too: Robins’s transition from large-scale paintings and small, painted and glazed ceramic sculptures, and Nozkowski’s move from mixed-media sculptures to paintings. Nozkowski and Robins hold invention and intuition in high regard–two undervalued “strategies” these days, except, of course, among the painting contingent. “Intuition is strong in the beginning of the process,” Robins says. “I try to think ‘visually,’ and avoid any kind of narrative impulse in my use of the world. I understand the connections only after completing a sculpture.”
Joyce Robins and Thomas Nozkowski, Untitled collaboration, 1980, oil on canvasboard, 19.5 x 23.5.”
Some top ten for 2010
Thomas Nozkowski: Making pictures with “as much intelligence and depth as I can muster”
“One unexpected turn leading surprisingly to the next and culminating in a small triumph.”
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