"The series of paintings of gallery and museum spaces I have been working on since 2015 questions the gap between the depictions of the world as seen through paintings and the depictions of the spectators who view them in an attempt to bring the two different forms of illusion closer together.
A central paradox to any form of realistic depiction is that the illusion of what is depicted is usually clearly separated from the world that the illusion inhabits. I wish to investigate what happens when conventional boundaries become ambiguous, and attempt to diminish the gap between picture and spectator.
As a painter one usually has three main ways of working: either from observation, or by intuition/ memory, or from photographs. My working process in recent years has gradually led me into a complicated and challenging area whereby I am attempting to work in the gap between these three options as they usually tend to exclude each other.
An important aspect of the work is that it is not based in any way on photographs, although the paintings appear to refer to a photographic depiction. One of my main intentions is to attempt to construct, and thereby imply, a fictional photographic reference.
The perspective in many of the paintings would seem to imply that we, the spectators, are in fact the painting on the wall, being observed by the gallery viewers. And like the paradox of the anthropologist whose presence influences the behavior of the people and customs of those being observed, I want to reverse the situation and imply that the spectators in the paintings in fact take on the characteristics of the paintings being observed. The question might be: what kind of painting are we?
I am interested in making pictures which attempt to combine opposites, and whilst appearing at first sight conventional, offer ambiguous readings that transform the reality of the world they appear to represent into sophisticated and endless fiction which distances us from spaces that we think we know.
The working method is entirely dependent on “making it up as you go along”, the results more often than not being the sum of an endless series of corrections and over paintings. " -Simon Nicholas
Bjørvika VIII, 2011
Atrium Figures 2
Atrium Figures 1
Gallery Group 2
Study for Gallery
Study for Gallery 5
Park VII, 2015-2020
Study for Park V
Study for Park VI
Study for Park VII
Simon Nicholas | Gatherings1 Apr - 10 May 2021Maybaum Gallery presents a solo exhibition of recent paintings by Norway-based artist Simon Nicholas. In this series of paintings, Nicholas explores people in relationship to their surroundings, engaged in everyday life. This is his second solo show at Maybaum Gallery.
A group, a crowd, a mob, a pack, a throng, a party. Before 2020 these words represented the most commonplace scenes of daily life--people, together. Simon Nicholas (b. 1954) has been working on his depictions of gatherings for half a decade, but thanks to the social isolation of the 2020 pandemic, new implications in his work begin to emerge.
Nicholas is adept at composing his crowds in such a way that we understand he’s collapsing the boundaries of traditional subject/object roles of picture making and picture consumption. In Gallery VI (below) a group of art viewers is depicted head-on--they stare directly at us but they aren’t challenging our gaze, they are simply looking at a painting. In the exterior scene in Park VII (above), the artist’s figures fill an expansive park field looking in the same direction. The subject of their attention is offstage or obscured in the darkening colors and melting gesture of the aerial perspective.
A global longing and a collective desire to simply be together has emerged in almost every conversation we now have. As the pandemic starts to recede and we allow ourselves to get excited at the thought of having a drink at a bar, seeing live music or walking through a museum with a close friend, we start to see the beauty and the meaning in simple, blissful proximity to one another. Everyday togetherness has been Simon Nicholas’s subject matter for years. In 2021 these works become flares of hope, a visual taste of what’s to come, and a reminder that life is made in the seemingly inconsequential moments of our togetherness.
Simon Nicholas | Urban Landscapes23 Oct - 30 Nov 2019Enjoy speaking to the artist in person about his elusive process of painting: 'attempting to work in the gap between observation, intuition/memory, and photographic references.' “My recent work has been...
1987 State Academy of Fine Art, Oslo, Norway
1979 Academy of Fine Art, Istanbul, Turkey
1977 Camberwell School of Art, London
1974 Bath Academy of Art
1996 - PRESENT Granum Kunstfagskole, Oslo
2001 University of Northumbria, Newcastle, England
2000 Oxford School of Art, England
DnB Bank, Bjørvika, Oslo • Oslo S Utvikling (OSU), Oslo • AT&T, USA • Statoil, Norway • Statoil
• Dagens Naeringsliv, Oslo • TV 2, Oslo • Northumbria University’s Permanent Collection, Newcastle, UK • Parabola Estates, Central Square, Newcastle • Old Mutual Art Collection, London • Skien Billed- galleri, Norway • Eiendomsspar AS, Oslo • Cleveland Art Gallery, UK
• Göteborg Konstnämd, Sweden • Bohusläntinget, Sweden • Scandia Göteborg • Bergens Grieghallen, Norway • Unilever Plc, London
2015 - 2021 Grant from the Arts Council of Norway
1999 Pollock- Krasner Award, New York
2019 Urban Landscapes, Maybaum Gallery, San Francisco, CA
2018 Tegnerforbundet, Oslo, Norway, “Mapping the Studio”
2017 Haugesund Kunstforening, Norway, “ Gallery”
2016 Galerie Clairefontaine, Luxembourg, “ New Work”
2015 Aalesunds Kunstforening, Norway
2014 Galerie Clairefontaine, Luxembourg, “Paintings”
2013 Trafo Kunsthall, Norway “Bjørvika Paintings“
2012 University Gallery Newcastle, UK
2011 Kings Place Gallery, London
2011 Galerie Clairefontaine, “Paintings“
2010 Bærum Kunstforening, Norway “ From the birch series 1989- 1995
2009 Galerie Clairefontaine, Luxembourg “ Kirchberg Paintings”
2008 Gallery Henoch, New York “ Composed Cities”
2007 Clairefontaine “ Atrium”
2006 Gallery Aasen, Ålesund, Norway
2005 Galleri Brandstrup, Oslo, Norway “Tiers”
2004 Galleri Brandstrup “Concourse”
2003 Gallmeri Aasen, Ålesund
2002 University Gallery, Newcastle, England
2001 University Gallery, Newcastle
2001 Tegneforbundet, Oslo “City Interiors”
2000 England & co, London
2000 Galleri 9, Kristiansand, Norway
2000 Skien Kunstforening, Norway
1999 Galleri F 15, Norway
1999 Oslo Kunstforening
1999 Buskerud Kunstnersenter
1993 Philip Graham Gallery, London
1990 Galleri Aktuell Kunst, Oslo
1989 Galleri Garmer, Göteborg, Sweden
1989 Drammen Kunstforening, Norway
1987 Bergen Kunstforening
1986 Richard Pomeroy, London
2020 Art Miami Online, Maybaum Gallery
2019 Art Miami, Maybaum Gallery, Miami, FL
2019 Art Market San Francisco, Maybaum Gallery
2015 The London Group Open
2013 “City Paintings”, Gallery Henoch, New York
2013 “The Discerning Eye”, The Mall Galleries, London
2013 Ruth Borchard self portrait exhibition, Kings Place Gallery, London
2013 Galerie Clairefontaine, Luxembourg
2011 Ruth Borchard self portrait exhibition, Kings Place Gallery
2010 Gal- leri LNM, Oslo “True Color”
2008 Galerie Clairefontaine, Luxembourg “Portrait –Self portrait”
2007 Gallery Henoch “New Talent”
2006 Rosenberg+Kaufman Fine Art, New York “Dealer’s Choice”, Art of the 20th Century, New York
2006 England &co Gallery, London
2006 Norske Bilder, Galleri Brandstrup, Oslo
2005 Flowers Central, London “Small Work 23”
2005 Gallery Henoch, New York
2005 Art Chicago, Belloc Lowndes Fine Art, Chicago
2004 Flowers Central, London “Small Work 22”
2004 Peter Findlay Gallery, NewYork
2004 Jill George Gallery, London
2004 Drammens Museum, Norway “ Visning”
2003 San Francisco Art Fair, Chicago Art Fair Belloc Lowndes Fine Art, Chicago
2002 Palm Beach Art Fair
2002 Norske Bilder, Oslo
2001 England & co, London
2000 Hunting Art Prizes, RCA, London
1999 The Mall Galleries, London “The Discerning Eye”
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