Patrick Nickell and April Street at Rosamund Felson Gallery, Santa Monica, California
Patrick Nickell returns to Rosamund Felsen Gallery for an exhibition of new sculptural work, The Lending Library Lends a Hand. In his last exhibition Nickell created large homespun abstract forms that jutted out into space for a rather humorous interaction with shape and line. This new body of work involves a more careful, more intuitive consideration of mass and color, focusing on the gestural and corporeal aspects of form and interactivity. If the previous works conjured historical elements of drawing or even cartooning, this new work concentrates on bodily interfacing and evocative coloring. Nickell has formulated pieces that weave in, on, over and around themselves, and has overlaid them with refined, intensely colored surfaces, often confounding the viewer with a displacement of mass. The viewer is struck by the moments when these initially odd, rangy shapes begin to look like bodies, twisting and dancing before us, and simultaneously appear to be heavily grounded, weighty masses, anchored to their plinths. While maintaining Nickell's customary playfulness, these works, not shying from abstraction, nonetheless point to traditional – often recognizable – forms, and to a practice of sculpture grounded in the idea of both looking back and moving forward. Memory, nostalgia and familiarity are met with the unknown, the unpredictable and the unrecognizable.
With her own physical movements realized and indexed in paint, April Street makes works that evoke the surrealist automatism of a dreamscape. At the same time, they represent a spontaneous outpouring of social, historical and personal constructions of romanticized subjects and subject matter. Using canvases often imprinted with pattern and natural imagery, and utilizing such varied applications and techniques as paint spills, illusionistic detailing, prismatic color and floral motifs, Street has largely relinquished the paintbrush. Instead, she utilizes her own body as well as worn bed sheets to move paint around the canvas. Displaying a skillful lightness of touch, Who threw that sunset at Me culminates as a series of beautiful, highly mysterious and highly allusive paintings, rich in layered meaning.
Rosamund Felsen Gallery
2525 Michigan Avenue, B4
Santa Monica, CA 90404