Thomas Nozkowski: New Editions and Related Drawings

April 26 - June 16, 2012

Untitled #2
aquatint and woodblock on paper
21 7/8 x 27 5/8 inches

Senior & Shopmaker Gallery is pleased to present its second exhibition with Thomas Nozkowski, comprised of the artist’s strikingly complex new print editions accompanied by hand-colored proofs and a suite of graphite drawings. The ensemble of these related images sheds light on the integral connections between the artist’s drawings, paintings on paper, and printmaking endeavors.

For over thirty years, Nozkowski has practiced his own form of idiosyncratic abstraction, foregoing a signature style or subject matter in favor of seemingly limitless variations in form and nuanced color. Though the artist claims his images are drawn from the everyday world and personal experience, their literal sources are obscured, leaving only the faintest suggestion of the familiar. Like artist forbears Jean Arp, Paul Klee, and often Joan Miro, Nozkowski works on an intimate scale particularly well suited to works on paper` whose detail and variation are demanding of the viewer’s focused study. 

Drawings are often revelatory of the artist’s decision-making process and permit experimentation not always apparent in paintings on canvas. Nozkowski employs a wide range of materials on paper, including graphite, colored pencil, ink, crayon, gouache, and oil singly or in some combination. They form a distinct body of work within his oeuvre, not as studies for paintings but as tangential lines of thought offering the artist different paths and intentions perhaps begun in painting but often existing independently of it.

His new printmaking project, completed long distance over the past year with Doris Simmelink and Chris Sukimoto of Simmelink/Sukimoto Editions in Olympia, Washington, is a substantial addition to Nozkowski’s printed oeuvre which, since 1990, now totals over forty five print editions. These are his most complex to date, entailing the printing of as many as 11 plates and woodblocks carrying up to 53 colors to arrive at a final, single image. Beginning with an oil on paper, the collaborating printer prepares a plate holding an elemental background and figure, the first proofs of which serve as a framework for the artist’s subsequent revisions and additions. Nozkowski draws upon and hand-colors these early proofs to develop new images to be translated again into etching, aquatint and woodcut. In the intaglio process in particular, the artist alters these initial matrices by adding further plates and colors, but also by burnishing and scraping away sections of the image on the plate—a process he uses continually in paintings on canvas, which undergo countless revision in the artist’s studio. From the mutability of this hand-coloring process arise multiple images which then develop into series or sequences of editioned images.

Thomas Nozkowski was born in 1944 in Teaneck, NJ and resides in New York City and High Falls, New York. Most recently his work was the subject of a major survey organized by Marc Mayer at the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa. In 2007, Nozkowski’s works were included in Robert Storr’s exhibition at the Italian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale, Think with the Senses, Feel with the Mind – Art in the Present Tense. The artist’s work is included in numerous public collections worldwide including the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Corcoran Gallery, Washington, DC, and the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, among others. He will exhibit new paintings at The Pace Gallery Gallery in fall of this year.

Gallery hours are Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., and Saturday 11 a.m.-6 p.m. For further information, please contact gallery@seniorandshopmaker.com.