Sat
12May
-
Tue
31Jul

Nicky Nodjoumi | Fractures

Nicky Nodjoumi is a figurative painter with an abstract sensibility. His paintings explore the emotional dynamics of contemporary politics. The brushwork is quick, loose, and expressive, though the compositions are carefully worked out well in advance. His protagonists are often men in suits — the uniform of contemporary authority — painted against spare backgrounds. Nicky’s recent body of work focuses on breaks, ruptures, and the layering of objects and bodies. He uses found photographs to make collages that repeat the same image with small shifts in scale. A selection of his working sketches and collages, drawn from his archive of source material, is also on view. In the final work, bodies are crisscrossed by sometimes violent slicing and fractures — vivid traces of the social violence that has caught up with them. The theater of politics, in Nicky’s work, is often an absurd space. His juxtapositions are both disturbing (atomic clouds, bombed out landscapes) and darkly humorous (giant apes, satanic wrestling). The artist captures the spectacular hypocrisy of political rituals and gestures in a sensory rather than narrative way. The space of the painting can be strongly theatrical, with high-contrast lighting, as well as props, masks, and harlequin patterns (the last two references to the Italian commedia dell’arte tradition.) On the relationship between painting and politics, Nicky has said: “What I’m looking to express in my paintings are the relations of power. I find a situation and a composition that touches on the relations between people, objects, and spaces, on their embeddedness in power. And then I try to approximate it in painting.”