chicago

Nicholas Africano

Dart Gallery

Nicholas Africano’s sparse and redolent pictures depict things that are hard to name, but that are immediately recognizable by their indeterminacy of emotion and hint of crisis. His poetic images reflect small and precise revelations; they are sentient illuminations into the recesses of the heart. Whether very large or very small, the 20 paintings on display here follow a basic format wherein a figure—usually alone—is set against a richly textured, grisaille background of tan or gray. The figures are rendered in a washy monochrome that betrays Africano’s sensitivity to anatomy and posture. Every image is accompanied by words scrawled across the upper part of the composition, as if they were hurriedly scribbled on with Africano’s finger. Word and image come together here in peculiar symbiosis, amplifying one another and setting the ensuing drama into ineluctable motion.

The states of being

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