Asphodel is pleased to announce the opening of "Notes to Diane", Nicholas Szymanski's first solo exhibition in New York City. Please join us for the artist reception on Thursday, November 1 from 6 to 9 pm.
Szymanski has been creating monochromatic paintings continuously since 2014. On the origins of his practice, Szymanski describes an early attachment to "the material itself, the nature of it, how it communicates with light and the various ways it moves and attaches to a surface. It is a mineral, an archaic substance, and a practice. (My paintings) are all between shores...in an endless state of becoming...a kind of self-evident authority." 
Monochromatic painting is the éminence gris of modern painting. Though the monochrome is the first and last word on abstraction it is often ignored, occasionally maligned, mostly misunderstood. And yet the monochrome remains influential. Its "heroic" masters and nameless practitioners alike are decidedly under the spell of this fundamental question: is a painting anything more than mineral, substance, and practice? Like his predecessors, Szymanski both resists and respects the metaphysical associations and personal poetics of the monochrome: his paintings certainly tell the story of their own making, then point to something beyond mere pictoralism. These paintings are empty messages written in the shadows of a fading empire, from a semi-urban address in the heart of the burning valleys of reactionary Christendom (the American upper Midwest), home to pyramid schemes and fallen industry. Written and rewritten again and again, over the course of many years, the works in Szymanski's "Notes to Diane" are atonement and apologia for the act of painting.
This exhibition is accompanied by a critical appraisal by art historian and critic, Alex Bacon. "Notes to Diane" is on view through December 21st.
Nicholas Szymanski (b. 1989) lives and works in Grand Rapids, Michigan. This is his first exhibition with the gallery. Recent solo exhibitions include "Nicholas Szymanski" at Alcove (Amsterdam) and "Impressions" at 337 Project Space (Grand Rapids). Szymanski earned his BA from the Kendall College of Art and Design.
Alex Bacon is an art historian based in New York City who writes criticism and organizes exhibitions of both contemporary and historical art. Among his publications Bacon is co-editor, with Hal Foster, of a collection of essays on Richard Hamilton (MIT Press, 2010), as well as the author of texts in various exhibition catalogs and edited volumes on artists such as Francis Alÿs, Simon Hantaï, Josiah McElheny, Ad Reinhardt, Niele Toroni, and Stanley Whitney.
 Interview with the Artist, Young Space. https://www.yngspc.com/artists/2017/01/nicholas-szymanski