The First Art Newspaper on the Net Established in 1996 United States Thursday, September 18, 2014


The Shadows of a God: Robert Nicol opens exhibition at Breese Little
Robert Nicol, Long Barrows, 2011. Watercolour on paper, 38 x 26cm.
LONDON.- The Shadows of a God is a presentation of Robert Nicol’s disorientating paintings and ceramics in which polite genres are rattled in his appropriation of small-scale media.

Nicol’s scenes bustle with characters undertaking bizarre and outrageous activities. Strange confluences and Lilliputian disruption are second nature in otherwise everyday contexts. Landscapes, interiors and portraits are interrupted by nonsensical occurrences.

There is very little narrative coherence across Nicol’s work. Characters do not have personalities, settings are undefined with actions undertaken with a routine sense of the banal. This limbo is pared down and precisely staged in an unobtrusive spectrum soft pastel colours Nicol injects futility with humour. A rafting party of floating figures bobs past a phallic iceberg on inflatable sausages. Flowers blow bubbles and scarecrows are shot with arrows. Stickmen watch their fellows bleeding, building abominable green snowmen and trading decapitated heads. Pastoral idylls set the ironic scenery, populating by rolling hills and snowy expanses, unchanged by gigantic naked men and shivering breasts.

Ceramics embody shapes and motifs found in the paintings, infringing on the parameters of the painted reality and complementing the surprising contents of their painted counterparts.

Robert Nicol (born 1980, UK) lives and works in London. Nicol graduated from Glasgow School of Art (BA Fine Art, 2001-04) and The Royal College of Art (MA Communication, Art and Design 2005-07). Selected solo exhibitions include Vous et Ici, GALLERY, Amsterdam (2013), Erebus and Terror, Cole London (May 2012), Breaking Wheel, Cole London (September 2010) and Fulham Palace Commission, The Fulham Palace Gallery, London (2008). Selected group exhibitions include Who’s Afraid of Red, Yellow and Blue?, Flowers East, London (2013), Stranger, Flowers East, London (2013), Necessarily True, Garage Rotterdam, (2012), A Private Affair, Harris Museum and Art Gallery, Preston (2012), Art Rotterdam, Cole London (2012), Manchester Contemporary, Cole London (2011), Scenery and Landscape, 37PK Haarlem, (2012), Wit, Fear and Sarcasm, The Fine Art Society London, (2011), Art Hong Kong, Cole London (2011), Art Amsterdam, Art Consultancy Tanya Rumpff, (2011), Cloak & Dagger, Edgar Modern, Bath (2008). Nicol is a Lecturer of BA Illustration, Camberwell College of Arts.

Freelance illustration clients include The Financial Times, The World of Interiors, United Airlines, Elephant, Lawrence King Publishing, The Telegraph, Condé Naste, the Royal College of Art, House & Garden, Penguin Books, BBDO Advertising, BBH Advertising and CIMA.



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