New York

Nicola Tyson

Petzel Gallery | West 18th Street

Nicola Tyson’s most recent show came with an epigraph, declaimed by the press release: “IMAGINATION I hold to be the living Power and prime Agent of all human Perception. . . . A repetition in the finite mind of the eternal act of creation in the infinite I AM.” Thus Tyson’s twelve new paintings, which purport to plumb the depths of “the imagination and the unconscious,” were brought under the Romantic sign of the lines’ author, Samuel Taylor Coleridge. This reference deftly marks out Tyson’s ambitions here, but it’s only the beginning of the hunt for her sources and stylistic influences. Ubiquitous in discussions of Tyson’s “psycho-figuration” are litanies of her sundry appropriations. Here one might note an indebtedness to Francis Bacon’s flayed subjects; there a self-conscious nod to Hans Bellmer’s fetishistic dolls, or Hannah Höch’s riotous collages, or Egon Schiele’s raw draftsmanship,

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