Ochi Projects is pleased to present a solo project featuring work by San Francisco-based artist Nellie King Solomon. The exhibition opens August 1 and remains on view through September 19, 2015. There is an opening reception Saturday, August 1, 6-8 pm.
Grand in scale, physically restless and unapologetically bold, Solomon's new body of work SkyFuel employs the artist's signature use of novel materials (mylar, soda ash, and this time "skyfuel") as well as an unconventional color palette. Solomon's paintings appear to be highly controlled, the shapes meticulously rendered, but they also take on the appearance of the accidental, as though Solomon simply allowed the paint to succumb to gravity in the tradition of gestural abstraction. Although static, the dynamic materiality of the paintings catches and reflects light and shadow. Vivid color and thick, opaque paint offers the sense of weight, only to be juxtaposed with transparent, bare mylar that feels quite immaterial.
Because of these strong dialectics, Solomon’s paintings feel like events rather than objects. Hardly creating self-referential forms that are all about painting, Solomon is instead consistently using material and process to generate narrative and illicit response. Her paintings engage with the history of painting in a challenging and combative style. When you follow Solomon’s trajectory as an artist you see that she has maneuvered in and out of creating abstract paintings, occasionally producing more representational works. It is these more literal pieces that inform Solomon’s practice as a whole. We come to realize that even when she creates seemingly purely abstract paintings she is working through something specific. The work is by all accounts beautiful, but beyond looks, there is content to them—they are soulful, vivacious and charismatic—with a story to tell.
With SkyFuel, Solomon seeks to reveal the origin of these stories. By featuring her “test strips,” her glass, hand-made tools and engaging in a public conversation in September with Artist Conversation Podcast founder Michael Shaw, Solomon seeks to create an exhibition that is less about presentation and more about exchange.