George Nick at NAGA Gallery, Boston
November 28, 2011 § 3 Comments
From the website of NAGA Gallery:
The World is Flat (Until You Paint It)
November 12 – December 17, 2011
Gallery NAGA concludes 2011 with an exhibition of euphoric paintings by George Nick accompanied by a catalog with an essay by Philip Pearlstein.
George Nick: The World is Flat (Until You Paint It) runs from November 12 through December 17. A reception for the artist and the public will be held at the gallery on Friday, November 11 from 6 to 8 pm.
This spring, summer, and fall, George Nick could be found painting on the sidewalk in Boston’s Back Bay. A passersby could stand in front of the easel and try to imagine just what it was that Nick was looking at. Where was he seeing these colors that were ending up on the canvas? How was he putting together strokes that we knew would inevitably make sense?
And then, George came up with the title for the show: The World is Flat (Until You Paint It). Suddenly, it became clear: Nick doesn’t look at subject matter the same way most of us would. He brings every life experience and all his years of painting experience to the easel.
In writing about his paintings, Nick expressed how he sees the world.
“We really see too much, so the mind has simplified our seeing. This knowledge is both personal and technical. We know a lot and we use that information unconsciously to make our way in the world. We have an immense amount of stored knowledge that involves personal history and technical knowledge capable of a high degree of analytical powers. In painting I try to find different ways to accomplish that.”
Each brushstroke laid on the canvas is the result of looking, then looking, then looking some more. And just when George thinks he has completed a particular area, the sun moves and it looks different. This doesn’t bother him because it’s not his intention to depict what “exists.” His paintings are, instead, recordings of a particular time and place that occurs for a moment, then changes as a result of shifting light. What we see in his paintings are lots of mini-recordings sharing a single canvas that our eyes are able to unify and make sense of.
Philip Pearlstein, in his essay for the catalog, writes that George’s “. . . exuberant brushwork doesn’t allow him to suggest nostalgia for the passing of time.” Pearlstein, a former teacher, long -time friend and confidante, has watched George battle and find his way to the top of a long list of American painters. Now, at age 84, George Nick has arrived.
Through December 11, a retrospective of Nick’s work will be on view at Rider University in Lawrenceville NJ in an exhibition titled, The Upside Down Wind.