new-york

Nabil Nahas

Sperone Westwater

It must be hard to give painterliness a new twist these days, but Nabil Nahas’s recent abstract works manage to do so. Literally building up the painterly surface, shaping a mixture of ground pumice and acrylic into what look like organic forms, which he then repaints, the artist gives gesture fresh resonance. His richly textured surfaces, teeming with life and often even extending beyond the limits of the support, resemble lush coral reefs. Other works appear as though strewn with luridly colored dried petals. The title of the work adorning the invitation card advises “Don’t Get Me Wrong,” but we do, and even after realizing it’s all just paint, we return to our organic “recognitions,” which remain visually as well as expressively convincing.

Nahas seems especially interested in the vital kick color can give a painting, an effect he seems to acknowledge with the ironic title Color Blind,

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