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'Gallery', Stephen Nicholas

2011, oil on canvas, 152 x 183 cm

Artist's statement

This painting is one of a series which explores the theme of viewing/observation spaces. Others in the series include parachutists falling and floating inside a room, and monkeys
jumping, as if being disturbed. The painting explores a number of dualities: gallery and institution, abstraction (as quotation) and figuration, perception and a viewing purpose/function.

The image was based initially on a shooting range and evokes a gallery space and modernist viewing room akin to a laboratory.
The targets (figures) are ghosted out through light over-painting, rendering them fugitive. The black discs (holes, penetrations) are a quotation from Op Art and disrupt the picture surface - they throw off an optical image of white discs if viewed in specific light. The physical surface of the paint and the handling is just as important to me as the image; for me they are inseparable.


Stephen Nicholas was born in 1958 in Shoreham by Sea, Hove, and studied at St Albans 1979-81 then Falmouth School of Art 1981-4. Group exhibitions include 'The Happy Squirrel Club'
(curated/produced by BANK) De Fabriek Eindhoven 1996, 'Instantaneous' Beaconsfield London 1996, 'Mommy Dearest' Gimpel Fils London 2000, 'The (Ideal) Home Show' Gimpel Fils London 2001 and 'A Thing About Painting' Platform London 2002.

His solo shows include 'Flicker Narcissus' Beaconsfield London 1994, 'It's my party and I'll die if I want to' De verschijning Tilburg 1996 and 'Lapse' Platform London 2000.

Stephen Nicholas website