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September 11 - October 10, 2009

In Gallery 1
PAUL NUDD VOMITROMITON
info | images | interview | press:
Chicago Art Review
| Bad at Sports | Fecal Face | Huffington Post


Opening Reception: Friday, September 11, 5 to 8pm
Gallery Hours: Wednesday to Saturday, 11am to 6pm
PAUL NUDD Gallery Talk: Thursday, September 24 at 6pm



Paul Nudd will pack the gallery with new paintings and drawings inspired by and depicting what the artist calls the “peri-anal universe”. Although his muse is an abject one; the works can’t help but reveal a strange and elegant beauty. The works’ coloristic and formal contrasts, as described below, are manifestations of Nudd’s primary interest: the decaying natural world as seen against the artificiality of the made world.

The paintings on canvas refer to microscopic lifeforms, often looking like exceptionally well-designed bacterial samples squashed between two glass slides. Nudd refers to the works’ primary compositional elements as “blobs” – oval shapes, painted or collaged onto the raw canvas, that are replicated in varying sizes and colors (usually earth tones, but also shocking pinks and reds) across the canvas. Occasionally, the artist’s blobs are punctuated with low-relief “nuclei” crafted from nuggets of modeling clay in high-keyed colors. Nudd’s color flips back and forth between differing approaches to the visceral; pop-candy colors vibrate against the dingy fake vomit tones; unbleached titanium clashes with fleshy hues.

At a glance, the paintings seem busy, out of control – randomly mixing colors and shapes. But dedicated viewing reveals the paintings to be carefully composed portraits of filth and decay: gooey puddles, fussy swaths of sludge, scumbles of strange substances, delicate stains, wisps of string, hair, felt and fake vomit settle on the plain of the blank canvas like scabs on smooth skin.

Despite the artist’s self-proclaimed efforts to make “gross-out” art, Nudd’s paintings are perversely attractive, disgustingly hilarious and infinitely engaging. As Anthony Elms notes in a recent essay on Nudd’s work, “See, it is possible to giggle, panic, and squirm at the same time, and that is what Paul’s artwork consistently aims to induce.” Nudd maps a world – or as he says, a fishtank – of bacterial delights. As he states in a recent interview with Evan Lennox (available at the gallery), “I don't aim to offend anyone; on the contrary, I want people to engage with my work for as long as possible. I just think there is an entire abyss of color combinations, forms, textures, and approaches to making things that people need to see. Crust, slop, and meditations on fake vomit and its uses are all interesting points of departure.”

This is Paul Nudd’s second solo show at Western Exhibitions. Recent solo and two-person shows include Jack the Pelican Presents in Brooklyn, telephonebooth in Kansas City and the Hyde Park Art Center, Bodybuilder & Sportsmen, and Dogmatic, all in Chicago, and group shows at Andreas Bruning Gallery in Dusseldorf, the Evanston Art Center, the Soap Factory in Minneapolis, and Mixture Contemporary in Houston. He recently completed a collaborative printmaking residency with Onsmith at the Spudnik Press in Chicago and his zines and artist books are in several institutional artist book collections across the country. He is a recent recipient of an Illinois Arts Council grant. Paul Nudd received his MFA from the University of Illinois-Chicago in 2001 and he lives and works in Berwyn, Illinois.

 

 

 

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