“I maintain the perception that reality is inherently a musical phenomenon informed by both punctuation and vacancy. Matters of density and velocity, suchness, the void and the passage of time find celebration in my paintings. My most firm intention is to communicate some sense of purposelessness through my work, an absence of necessity. Through varied processes, deliberate experimentation and redaction these qualities become observable and are sometimes considerably veiled. What is resultant is an opportunity to observe the materiality of a painting and its being-in-itself. Color, surface, light, scale, touch, these involvements gesture toward the possibility of some resolve and vitality in an environment marked by an undefined and nondetermined nature. The possibility of becoming an instrument oneself, of disappearing, is made available through quiet observance.” – Nicholas Szymanski
Nicholas Szymanski’s work provides a verigated approach to painting. His work is both additive and subtractive, often times referencing found forms and colors, photography, and poetry as starting points. Through a mixture of the purely intentional and aleatory processes the pictorial elements of the work have the quality of being meditations on the passage of time, presence, and the seemingly mundane or meaningless. The paintings read in multifaceted ways. Investigations of scale, color, application, surface, light, interpretations of poetry and art history. The work is related to the trajectory of abstraction, minimalist art and laconic thought. The work entertains the question of how one may work within an area of art using the same restrictions which have been stated and explored in the past. Within these limitations, is it possible to advance the conversation and relieve the work from its past?
The paintings are very much process driven. Szymanski utilizes a range of materials in his work such as acrylic, oil, watercolor, bleach, dirt, and marble dust. The surfaces are worked on over a period of days or weeks, painted, stained, folded, sanded, and sometimes left to dry in compromising situations. Szymanski’s work lacks expectation in an effort to avoid the compositions becoming mannered. Through a process seemingly lacking in expectation the paintings appear to reflect the eastern concept of the inherently purposeless quality of nature. The work focuses on the materiality of a painting, a celebration of an archaic substance and practice. The artist views painting as an intuitive activity, something felt, for him painting is starting.
Each work is an individual event containing its own dynamic and sense of situation within a longer tradition of painting. The artist strives to avoid narrative within the confines of the picture plane. The paintings contain a range of feeling, through the investigation of the surface Szymanski arrives at compositions telling of a desire to observe the ineffable. The work drives toward a sensibility of the real before it is sliced up into conceptualism. A suggestion that painting may exist beyond the limits of language.