philadelphia

Gerald Nichols

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The paintings in this exhibition mark a clear shift from Gerald Nichols’ constructed pieces and installations of the last ten years. In the late ’60s and ’70s, Nichols’ paintings relied on a formalist vocabulary, exploring a controlled range of ideas; content was defined by the accumulation of subtle gestures and the relationships they established within a rigid format. In the constructed pieces of the ’80s, relieflike wooden cutout structures were informed by the narrative as well as the formal content of such artists as Albert Pinkham Ryder and Winslow Homer.

In this exhibition of new paintings, Nichols presents an idea of text as a primary visual element and, in certain pieces, calls on his earlier involvement with formal structures. The text is always spare, using or referring to the titles, and is, in most cases, hidden in the overall layout of each painting. In King (all works, 1989),

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