San Francisco

Louis Nadalini

In the last couple of seasons, San Francisco has lost several of its galleries. Some others have just recently begun operating but often with an entirely new group of artists. Some members of those apparently secure gallery stables that went out of business have found their way into other stables, but a larger group is without a place to show. I decided to look into such a person’s studio in my endeavor to find out what is really happening in the Bay Area art world. I went to see Louis Nadalini. His latest painting continues with the lattice of slats protruding forward with two variations of the painting painted on the sides of the slats which are viewable when standing to either side. This was always a very abstract method and he had quite often painted pure abstractions which centered quietly into hypnotic devices of exceptional color richness, but which gave a kaleidoscopic change as you moved past it. Untitled #42 (the most recent painting) has subject matter and was done in a much more painterly way. The side variations were flat in color, and there were some elements seen only in the side views, a skeleton’s arm and a black hand, for example. Nadalini says that he may abandon the lattice altogether if it gets in his way, but so far it seems to work better than it did with the abstractions. He is enthusiastic about the work he is doing, felt very free about making changes, and was, at the same time still happy about work from several years ago and unwilling to think that older work and new work should not be exhibited together. He hasn’t been thinking about galleries for a while. Nadalini goes to sea periodically which gives him time for contemplation as well as for renewing his resources.

Knute Stiles