November 16 - December 23, 2017
What Pipeline presents Reflections, an exhibition of new paintings and monoprints by Nolan Simon.
Nolan Simon’s culling of images from the internet as sources for his paintings started in 2010 as an open-ended, experimental practice and in recent years congealed into a more personal, focused review of his own media consumption. The diasporic images Simon selects share a common trait of being able to evoke feelings that are simple and familiar, and yet complicated enough to be difficult to describe in a few words.
Simon also selects from the continuity of painting’s history, at times referencing Bonnard and Gauguin in both technique and content. A skilled portraitist, he captures friends and friends of friends in the manner of the Post-Impressionists, depicting public scenes of close social interaction from a slight remove. Colors, marks and removals of paint reveal themselves as a series of cohesive decisions rather than dictated by photographic aesthetics.
By focusing on his social network, Simon depicts the contradictions of mass intimacy. This sampling of the art world accurately reflects its lack of diversity. A self-indictment is implied when the image source is revealed to be Simon’s own timeline. Simon neither shies away from nor glorifies his part but acknowledges a time of reflection with this series.