For his solo show SECOND LIFE: recent paintings
, Nick Lawrence will present a new body of work exploring the issues and consequences that arise from leading a double life. Lawrence takes his cue from the internet game Second Life
, where ‘players’ can create their own identities and operate within an advanced virtual network. Lawrence himself can be described as living in dual worlds, as a long-time artist and a leading gallerist. By developing his abstract, sometimes figurative canvases, he investigates how these separate realities collide and intersect. We see how two entities - the real world and the imaginary – communicate through his use of symbols and materials.
In “Can I get a Witness”, two symbols border the more abstract central composition illustrating communication reduced to its essential components. The object on the right could depict a thought bubble, the object on the left, an ear or a hand; juxtaposed in between - a painting within a painting – is a more loosely-applied black ink tableau representing a window into another world created by the artist.
Lawrence’s paintings, whose themes oscillate between the whimsical and the aggressive, employ a myriad of ingredients such as tar, sand, house paint, cloth, rope, paper and shellac. His narratives make their appearance by way of personal vocabulary, witty figuration, and conflicting textures. The SECOND LIFE works are a continuation of his “Bloopers” series exhibited in 2006 at ATM Gallery, NYC, but in these new creations, the painter has arrived at a possible aura of tranquility. Though his Art Brut and Australian aboriginal influences are still present, some of the heavy brushstrokes of earlier works are replaced with more reflective, subtle gestures, suggesting Lawrence may have reconciled his two realities.
Nick Lawrence is the founder and owner of Freight + Volume, a contemporary space in New York as well as a long-time owner/director of DNA Gallery in Provincetown. Lawrence has exhibited widely throughout the US and Europe, and his work has been featured in Artnet, Brooklyn Rail, The Boston Globe, The Boston Herald, LA Weekly, and California Art Week.
Lawrence is a recipient of numerous awards and residencies, including an NEA Works on Paper Fellowship, a Massachusetts Artist Foundation Grant, and a scholarship from the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. He holds a degree in Visual and Environmental Studies from Dartmouth College, and did graduate work at the Ruskin School of Fine Art in Oxford, England. He is also the author and artist of numerous limited-edition books.