New York

Graham Nickson

Salander-O'Reilly Galleries

GRAHAM NICKSON FOLLOWS THE SUN, from Australia to Florida to Italy, in pursuit of an untouched paradise—a space where the body is able to blissfully enjoy its own existence. The world he paints is pagan nature at its most charged, full of longing. Known for his use of intense, saturated, glowing color—color that seems to bring light to a boil—Nickson is primarily a painter of erotic landscape. In Inlet: Dark Water, 1981–97, the female bather in the center is a modern Venus. The sun plays off her body, accented by the decisive gesture of the towel with which she dries herself, a framing device like the seashell in Botticelli's Birth of Venus. And as in the Botticelli, the woman is bracketed by a number of figures, most conspicuously the standing man to her left and the raised leg of the woman to her right. They are her consorts, paying homage to her allure.

Nickson's figures

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