Alfstad& Contemporary is pleased to announce an exhibition of recent works by Laine Nixon. In this solo exhibition, her first in Sarasota, Nixon explores the mutable nature of art through work on paper, mixed media, and painting. The show's title, "Unfixed," refers to her working methods of creating, altering, covering up, or exposing various painting methods on a single surface. The exhibit opens May 24, 2018, and runs through June 29th.
Nixon's series, "Assent," consists of fifty abstract watercolors on paper, each torn into similarly sized strips, that were rearranged into four final assemblages. Fragments from the original works join with remnants of others to form a harmonized union of line, form and color. The artist interrupts her vertical configurations of horizontal bands with the diagonal weaving of one final strip. Her delicacy of coloration asserts itself and the rhythm of her motifs is beautiful and engaging while achieving a cartographical complexity. They're reminiscent of old hand-colored geological maps made in the early decades of the nineteenth century. While abstract, they suggest aerial views of sparse landscapes losing their real-world specificity.
Also on display is "Becoming Unfinished." In this work, Nixon concentrates on the materiality of her media. Using a syringe filled with liquefied pigment and medium, the artist builds up her images on large sheets of Plexiglas through a process of accretion, like a coral reef. Choosing several focal points, spread across the substrate, Nixon adds a dime-sized pool of colored media to each. She moves a few centimeters away and adds another and another. Each focal point expands, like the ripples of raindrops on a lake. As the colors extend away from their center, they lighten or darken, and overlap - instead of blending with -colors from other focal points. The exposed Plexiglas beneath simultaneously reflects the viewer and allows them to see through the work, further emulating the surface of a body of water.
Nixon's paintings on canvas, especially those from her "Zuhanden" series, contemplate and question the surface and depth of the picture plane. She crafts complex relationships between the viewer and her work through the illusion of shifting foreground and background. She begins with abstractions, often-gestural works, made from thin washes of colors. These are composed and covered with an entirely new abstract Impasto-a work made with thickly applied paint-often using geometric styles. Areas left unfinished on the Impasto reveals the wash Pentimento-the underpainting. The Impasto acts as a window frame while the viewer is near the work; yet, visually shifts to become the background when a viewer is farther away. It's clear the Pentimento is behind the Impasto when standing next to the work; yet, across the room, these areas seem to break the picture frame and float in front of the Impasto. Each of the works-built up over weeks, before altered and worked again-have a luminous warmth and spatial depth.
Born in Oklahoma, Laine Nixon now lives and works in Sarasota, Florida. Following her participation in numerous regional exhibits, Nixon has received endowments from the John Ringling Towers Fund, as well as, residencies at the Hermitage Artist Retreat and The Longboat Key Center for the Arts.
The Opening Night reception for Laine Nixon: Unfixed, will be held on Thursday, May 24, 2018, from 5:30-8:00pm. The exhibition will continue on display through Friday, June 29th at Alfstad& Contemporary, 1419 5th Street in the Design District of Sarasota.