‘The pale and naked concrete pillars of an east-west onramp stood beyond the truck, carving away, clustered and rising without pediment, like the ruins of some older order standing in the dusk.’
Cities of the Plain, Cormac McCarthy
Simon Preston Gallery is pleased to present, herz man sky, the first solo exhibition of British painter Nick Goss in New York. The exhibition will comprise of six new paintings, together with a small group of works on paper. In the works on canvas, thin, delicate washes are punctuated by heavy brushstrokes depicting fantastical scenes of imaginary dystopia. Evoking a range of literary references from Huxley to McCarthy, with imagery culled from such diverse sources as the artist’s own photographs, comic-book material and Social-Realist propaganda, they combine to create an exotic parallel universe.
Painted during a residency in Vienna, interwoven associations gesture toward nostalgia and the melancholic. Subdued memories of defunct political histories, from colonialism, fascism to the American Frontier, collide in what Bachelard describes in Poetics of Space as ‘Theatres of the Past’. A woman is carried regally in a Sedan chair, a desk fan appears gigantic, assuming the role of power station, an abandoned railway carriage is re-purposed as elaborate stage, each echoing a similar sense of magical realism. As Bachelard states, ‘Every corner in a house, every angle in a room, every inch of secluded space in which we like to hide, or withdraw into ourselves, is a symbol of solitude for the imagination.’
The title of the exhibition ‘herz man sky’ makes reference to a local thrift shop in Vienna, named Herzmansky, which provided several visual prompts for works in the exhibition. The action of separating the words, injecting space into the text and distorting the final reading underscores many of the processes apparent in the paintings.
Nick Goss was born in 1981 in Bristol, England and currently lives and works in London. Goss studied at the Slade, University College, London (2002-06) and the Royal Academy Schools, London (2006-09). His first solo exhibition, ‘Veverka’, was shown at Josh Lilley Gallery in April 2010. Other recent presentations include Saatchi New Sensations in October 2009 and NEWSPEAK: British Art Now at the Saatchi Gallery in London in 2010. He recently completed a residency at Lenikus in Vienna in May 2011.