Nicholas Nyland is a Washington-based artist who creates paintings, sculptures and installations. Stating that his work is “driven by a fascination with the life of form, the nature of creation and the will to decorate,” Nyland makes works that are abstract, but contain references to history and traditional craft sources. Embracing abstraction because as he says, “it is generous and capacious, able to absorb and then release a multitude of references,” Nyland does in fact draw from a myriad of sources. For his most recent solo show in Seattle, Physical Speculations on a Future State, Nyland incorporated inspiration from Chinese scholar’s stones, Japanese gardens, Early American decorative traditions and 1970s design. Despite such wide-ranging influences, Nyland manages to create works that are at once formally engaging and conceptually inquisitive. Nyland leaves room for a viewer to consider material, gesture and form, but enigmatic historical references also provide inquiry into the way we define and identify objects.
There is lightheartedness to Nyland’s work that borders on humorous. A viewer can tell that Nyland enjoyed making whatever object she is observing. The lack of seriousness involved in Nyland’s works further promotes active questioning about material, influence and formal choice. Moreover, the tactile quality of Nyland’s work makes it all the more engaging. Bordering on craft with some of his works, Nyland’s pieces are all distinctly handmade. There is a purposeful clumsiness to them that is charming and endearing.
This is Red Bowl, an installation piece put on by Cao | Perrot studio (L.A./Paris) in Beauvais, France. The work draws its inspiration from hardship and pain (biblical lepers) but is actually quite pensive, complete with a small pond “covered with a veil of water lentils to create a soft green proliferating surface.” The concept of renewal comes forth pretty strongly as Red Bowl “recalls man’s moral dimensions and the belief in being able to purify the body of diseases by a bath of blood.” A couple more images after the jump but definitely take a look at what else is coming from this really nice landscape architecture studio. (via)
Toronto based artist Trevor Wheatley takes common slang to the streets, placing words and lingo in the public sphere where you cannot ignore it. He constructs large-scale sculptures of words like “real talk” and “nah” and installs them amongst trees and in rivers. Can you imagine hiking and seeing the word “squad” as you looked up into the trees? His often boldly colored text becomes so out of place in the wilderness, creating a very surreal site. Each installation displays strong pop-culture references of phrases commonly used. Interested in typography, Wheatley’s text-based work is range in font, color, and materials.
Wheatley takes this common language and makes it static, giving it a more permanent element. Language and slang changes so frequently, a word or phrase could be outdated as soon as Wheatley has completed the installation. Nevertheless, they bring back nostalgia and even add a bit of humor to their environment. Slang and lingo can often bring to mind a certain type of person or stereotype that we associate with the word or phrase. Wheatley’s sculptures take us beyond these preconceived notions of language by taking them out of their usual context and placing them in a new environment. Like taking a word out of its original context can change it’s meaning, the artist gives new meaning and life to the lingo, as they are located in serene nature. (via Juxtapoz)
As part of our ongoing partnership with Feature Shoot, Beautiful/Decay is sharing Amanda Gorence’s article on Jean-Yves Lemoigne.
“Modern man has become a cog in a very complex society. We live in a society that praises individuality on the one hand and conformity on the other. Man is an elementary particle in the global mass. The Zentai suit fits perfectly with this vision of man as an elementary particle. It makes any individual as uniform as possible. We stop distinguishing between faces, races and genders.
To begin with, the army seemed like a relevant social entity for this series. The army already has a uniform and a color. The individual is subsumed by the larger military corps. This allows me to put these characters into action in nature. I often position myself high above these little men in brightly colored suits. They can make one think of little toy soldiers shot in a hyperrealist panorama.”—Jean-Yves Lemoigne
Jean-Yves Lemoigne is a French commercial photographer. Human Project is his personal work, stemming from a desire to capture man in space. The series consists of two different bodies of work, Human Project / War, featured here, and Human Project / Tourism, in which Lemoigne juxtaposes these same suited men with emblematic places of mass tourism.
Beautiful/Decay is pleased to introduce online website building platform Made With Color, which empowers artists artists to build a professional website in minutes. Made With Color allows artists to build a sleek website and share their art without having to code and spend hours on lay-outs. The simplified and responsive navigation is made to be functional. Giving both the artists and the viewers the possibility to explore some of the best contemporary art in a pleasant environment. This week, we are sharing Edith Beaucage’s latest work ‘Chill Bivouac Rhymes’ series.
California based Edith Beaucage translates an atmosphere onto the canvas, using the painting as a snapshot. Her work involves characters, a scenario and a scene. Allowing the imagination of the viewers to go beyond the painting and envision their own story. The ‘Chill Bivouac Rhymes’ series is built as a loose leaf narrative. A ballerina, her entourage, her Russian lover, a rave and a specific, yet invented location: Yellow Boa Canyon.
The paintings depict the characters interacting with each other in the fantasy land created by the artist. Edit Beaucage’s strokes are ‘broad, fluid and relaxed’. Translating a world of floating moments and effortless motions. The characters are blended with the landscape. The same tonality of colors and the same brushstrokes are used for each of them. The artist captures a couple kissing, a girl dancing, a men smoking and a teenager sleeping. Never omitting to add-on the wandering, lingering rhythm which ends up altering the mood and spirit of the viewer.
Jamie Isenstein’s work questions the traditional divisions between sculpture, performance, and video. Isenstein is known for blurring the lines between performance and sculpture, often through her use of her own body as a ready-made object.
One of the hottest talents to come out of South Africa lately is painter Kurt Pio. His practice includes printmaking, painting and sculptural pieces, exploring many different topics. But the most eye catching of his works, I think, would be his diamond series. A collection of abstract, fragmented, striking paintings of jewels, diamonds, and gems, his canvases are a display of his sensitivity to color.
With a background in interior design, Pio thinks of the designer’s point of view while painting his fine art pieces. He likes to create work that will suit the environment they could be placed in, and is finely tuned to the colors and atmosphere of his surroundings. This may have something to do with growing up in the picturesque Cape Town and appreciating it’s unique aesthetic.
You are constantly told by foreigners that the city is very beautiful. It’s a constant thing that you hear. But until you go traveling and compare your city to other places, that’s when you realize that what they say is true. I wanted to pay patronage to my home, and to celebrate the beautiful place that I’m living in. (Source)
Pio says the things around him are a massive influence on him; they are the things that make him the most excited. So, taking mundane objects, he combines that with a love of colors and contrast to produce some beautiful work. The talented painter is looking forward to the future, and is currently obsessed with the idea of using gold in his work. But as we can see from Pio’s Diamond series, gold is not the only thing that glitters. (Via The Jealous Curator)
When I dropped by his sunlit Brooklyn studio Aaron Johnson was busy preparing for his show at Stux Gallery in Chelsea, which opens Thursday September 15th. In this new body of work Johnson invites us to chow down on a writhing smorgasbord of Americana: severed heads, demonic Uncle Sams, sausage crucifixes, fried eagles, mashed guts, f-burgers, camel roast, and mutant sea creatures sucking down oil oozing fresh from the rig. His new work is opulent and glitters like jewel-encrusted Faberge eggs despite picturing disturbingly grotesque and violent imagery – totally Beautiful/Decay!