Cade Tompkins Projects is pleased to present new paintings by Andrew Nixon, recipient of the 2012 Pollock-Krasner Grant, in the exhibition The Attitudes of Animals in Motion. In his recent explorations, Nixon finds inspiration from the photographs of Eadweard Muybridge (British, 1830-1904). Nixon explains that the seminal ‘animal locomotion’ work, Muybridge’s ground breaking photographs, helped him to rethink a number of matters that as a painter he considers important: specifically, American modernity, time, space, technology, and the continuing influence of photographic imagery in our culture. His aim is to incorporate the formal stillness and solidity found in ancient Egyptian relief sculpture and early Renaissance work by Fra Angelico and Giotto, into frames of Muybridge’s images. By adapting archaic painting techniques to fixed images of motion, Nixon expresses the inherent contradiction between motion and stillness in new and revealing ways.
Ruth Kicking 2013 combines the light and landscape of earlier works by Nixon with a mule painted in lush chocolate brown set against a serene blue sky. The sense of depth in the landscape juxtaposed with the beautiful profile of ‘Ruth’ add to the surreal situation. Nixon captures a tender and humorous moment in the eyes, muzzle and flesh while playing with shadow and light on the ground and in the sky.
Walking Elephant 2013: Stoic and reverent, Nixon’s elephant gingerly moves toward the edge of the painting’s frame. The animal is a fluent mass in motion - filling the space with dappled grey hide, deliberately rendered, and starkly depicted against a subtle grey backdrop and salmon pink ground.
Pandora Jumping a Hurdle 2013 features a naked male rider holding bright blue reins that define the direct line between the horse’s head and mouth and the male’s hands. Connected in movement, the rider and horse become a unified entity as they hold a focused gaze in their leaping pursuit.
Skipping a few steps, Double Buffalo 2013 is one in a series of paintings that directly reference Muybridge’s photographic frames. Numbered 4 and 7 - the buffalo’s body captures the shift of weight that occurs in real time within fractions of seconds. Here Nixon simultaneously slows and speeds time, witnessed in the color shifts of earth and sky.
Andrew Nixon holds degrees from Indiana University’s Henry Radford Hope School of Fine Arts (MFA 1991) and Boston University’s School of Visual Arts (BFA 1982). Nixon is a recent recipient of a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant (2012) and has works in the collections of the Newport Art Museum, Newport, Rhode Island; RISD Museum, Providence, Rhode Island; The Stewartry Museum, Scotland and Pont Aven School of Contemporary Art, Brittany, France.