The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Sunday, November 19, 2017


Gallery NAGA opens solo exhibitions of works by George Nick and Andy Buck
George Nick, Rockport Quarry 8 Sept 2017, 2017, oil on linen, 30x40”. Photo: Bill Kipp.


BOSTON, MASS.- Each morning, while the rest of us are rolling out of bed and rubbing our eyes, George Nick is already on his way to a painting site, sometimes traveling an hour and a half to reach it. He sets up his easel and makes the most of the early morning light. He heads back after lunch, only to work on still lifes in his studio. The next day is like the preceding one, and on and on.

Painting is hard work for Nick and he’d have it no other way. If he’s figured it out, he’s already moved on; the moment something has become formulaic, he turns to a new challenge. It’s a mantra we hear every time we visit the studio.

“This is hard work,” Nick remarks.
“I wrestled with this painting for months.”
“If I figure it out after one go or after eighty goes, I’m happy.”
“You see this new tone? It’s almost right.”

After 90 years of life he still struggles with each painting.

Nick’s 11th solo exhibition at NAGA is as idiosyncratic as ever. Quirky and decrepit machines, some unrecognizable as to their intended purpose, are positioned against rich skies of blues and grays. Gargoyle 19 May 2015, a favorite still-life of Nick’s, depicts an Alessi metal tray on which sits a modern, metal teapot and a black ceramic milk carton. The surface of those three objects is enlivened further by a wooden figure casting a long reflection.

Gone are the brownstone facades of the Back Bay, replaced instead with numerous rocky seascapes, just as layered and chunky and stacked as the stone in his buildings. Rockport Quarry 8 Sept 2017 is an example of the subtle tonal variations in rocks. Nick explains, “Sorting it out makes this painting. The world is so rich that when I try to match that color, right away I’m in trouble.”

The title of the show is taken from an excerpt in a book by Frederick R. Karl, Joseph Conrad: The Three Lives.

The imaginative process, whatever it is and whatever form
it takes, may be like dreams, that is, not at all straightforward
or predictable, surely not linear, but misleading, deceptive,
suggestive of condensation and displacement. Like the dream,
an individual’s imagination reveals as much as it veils.
Whenever we follow a particular thread or line, we may be
losing an even more important clue; for we are pursuing
something that is essentially irrational in the light of our
present tools to understand it. But as with dreams, the
imagination will suggest recurring patterns, schemas,
significant statements as well as evasions. It is a coded
process which we can pursue at least part of the way.

Blurring the line between realism and expressionism, Nick has described his painting style as intuitive and inventive. What we see between the frames is not a moment frozen in time, but a collection of moments that unify in our mind’s eye. Nicks paintings are complicated: he is constantly running in circles, following ideas that lead to moments of clarification which, in turn, give birth to a new set of problems and intangible thoughts waiting to be chased down and painted.

In the back room is an exhibition of carved wooden figures by Andy Buck, a professor of furniture design in the College of Imaging Arts and Sciences at the Rochester Institute of Technology. Each of the wooden figures stand in front of a panel, laser-engraved and hand-painted with excerpts from poems written by Oregon author Carl Adamshick. After Buck and Adamshick met in Portland, Oregon twenty years ago, Buck carved the figures then sent them to Adamshick to create a poem to bring the figures to life, giving them each a name and story. Out of this collaboration came a book, Receipt, which refers to the names of the figures, as in “your name is your receipt.”






Today's News

November 12, 2017

Exhibition of 19th century drawings made 'en plein air' on view at the Louvre

The Galloway Hoard has been saved after an appeal raised £1.98m

The great names of art are mobilising themselves for the restoration of Saint-Germain-des-Prés Church

Frank Stella exhibition launches NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale's 60th anniversary year

Sotheby's to hold dedicated sale of Soviet art to mark the centenary of the Russian Revolution

Auction of Modern and Contemporary Furniture, Design and Art to be held at Doyle

Most significant exhibition of Cuban art in the U.S. in more than 70 years opens at the Walker Art Center

Rijksmuseum and Museum De Lakenhal present an ode to the women of De Stijl

The Speed Art Museum opens exhibition of films and prints by Bruce Conner

Frist Center for the Visual Arts opens a dynamic survey of Nick Cave's practice

Pirelli: 2018 calendar by Tim Walker unveiled in New York

Freeman's Modern & Contemporary Art Auction sets auction record

Louvre Abu Dhabi draws crowd as diverse as UAE

A changing Polish city dreams of Expo 2022

Gallery NAGA opens solo exhibitions of works by George Nick and Andy Buck

American University Museum late fall shows: "Feminine" art, Washington art and Israeli art

Ayyam Gallery Dubai opens "Cities" presenting Kais Salman's newest paintings

Pedigree comics owner bringing another collection to Heritage Auctions' Comics & Comic Art Auction

WW1 Masterpiece lent to Rotherham Museum for Armistice Day and the final centenary year of the war

Matteawan Gallery opens a solo exhibition of mixed media paintings and drawings by Thomas Huber

Solo exhibition by American born artist Chloe Sells on view at NextLevel Galerie

Congregation Beth El Menorah sculpture relocated to the Lyman Allyn

Bonhams dominates Asian Art Week in London

17th century Chinese carved wood figure of a bodhisattva brings $60,000 at A. B. Levy's

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