Anthony Meier Fine Arts is pleased to present an exhibition of new paintings by British artist Nicholas Byrne. Exhibiting in the gallery for the first time, Byrne’s intricately layered surfaces combine abstract pattern and form with geometric structure and fluid figuration.
The title of the exhibition, Spring, means a new beginning and frames a period of time; attesting that the paintings, in spite of their range, are of one season.
Drawing on historical points of reference across mulptiple disciplines, Byrne’s new works are informed by a Gothic sensibility. In The Nature of Gothic published in The Stones of Venice Vol 2, 1853, John Ruskin defines Gothic character as energized by a community of workmanship and artistic liberty. Reflecting on the role of creativity in the modern era via pre-modern practices, Byrne layers his paintings with varying motifs; letters, ropes, silhouttes and visage. These motifs are investigated and re-introduced from piece to piece – the repetition a method of searching, listening.
Employing copper as a ground, a malleable metallic element known for conducting heat and electricity, Byrne layers intense and vibrant color onto the surface, etching and mapping onto the color, exposing the pigmentation below and breaking into the soft metal at the base. Through this process Byrne creates a depth and dimension that is both real and implied.
In writing, the language of Nicholas Byrne’s work is complex, layered in intellectual and historical reference. In actual, the work cushions these larger questions and pursuits in an elegance, beauty and rhythm, that the viewer is drawn to and recongizes as familiar.