I’ve been wanting to write about Nina’s show at Kravets Wehby for weeks now, but you know the drill; I’m overwhelmed and backed up in blog posting. But finally without further ado, I present to you the beautifully jarring paintings of Nina Abney.
Who? What? When?, 2009, Acrylic on canvas, 72.5 x 77.5 in, images courtest K&W
The figure is a prominent form in Nina’s paintings, engaged in acts that are unfamiliar and purely twisted in relation to the norms of our lived society. Cultural, religious and historical references are collaged in snippets through each character via costume, resemblance, and gesture. Perspectival distribution is unbalanced and discombobulated with patches of uneven color fields framing and almost pushing out the figures flat onto the foreground.
Thieves Guild of Oblivion, 2009, acrylic on canvas, 55.5 x 67 in
The two dimensionality is potent with each awkward bent of limb and twitch of facial expression as if they were deadened paper dolls, flaunting theatrics encased in a nightmarish netherworld. Each scene is nonsensical and chaotic, more violent and disturbing than passive reflection and beckons the viewer to join in the masquerade of cultic taboo rituals.
Null and Void, 2009, Acrylic on canvas, 77.5 x 45 in
I love the way color and shape interact, clash and interchange with each other in each painting; these elements are used to either create form or dissect and confuse a given outline. Minimal swooping blocks of abstraction cut through the imagery and mark an undefinable territory or situation. Graffiti and old school religious painting is evoked by combining acid rich colors with gestures, flattened perspective of the figure and the ubiquitous mummified face expressions. Their dullness and monotonous gleam is creepy, possessed and straight out lunatic. If they actually existed in our world rather than this disturbed utopia, they’d be walking straight into an asylum for the pure and reserved.
I’m actually in one of these paintings, can you guess which one?
The show is up till the 4th, so go on and check it out, let me know what you think.