Rob NadeauMixed Greens Gallery | 531 West 26th Street | New York City | 10001 | (212) 331-8888
Nice! I love the building sense of weight and the complex relationship this weight has with edge and color. Provokes lots of questions!
These are really great! I stumbled onto them at Mixed Greens, not being familiar with Nadeau's work, and was very charmed by the funkiness of the paint and the inventiveness of the imagery. I love the idea of piles and stacks in an abstract painting, and Nadeau is really exploring that, physically, with the paint.
this does look great. much more interesting and less generic than his older work. The drip trick is a little overused, but it's a nice image. curious about his process making these... it sort of reminds me of a painted version of that installation artist at Zach Feuer, her last show with the painted wood. Come to think of it, he used to show there.
Very true, the drip device has been quite "done," but Nadeau pulls it off here, somehow. These also remind me a bit of Mary Heilman's work: self-consciously injecting a fresh, unpretentious bit of funk to hard-edged abstraction. But they still feel like their own thing. Along those lines, another great abstraction show up right now is Stephen Westphal, at Lennon Weinberg. Painter, do you think it merits a post?
i just looked over all of robs paintings on his web site. he seems to be playing a lot with surface and material quality often striking an off note and creeating some tension and dischord...however i think this is uprooted by the fact that all of his compositions work too well, they arent as dynamic as his surface decisions. there may be some sort of cosmic resonance if he were to couple his disparate surfaces with a more off balance composition.
goble you're right, these compositions are too 'neat' and tidy, too based on western compositional ideals like the golden mean. That's the only device he uses more than once, and he uses it to death. Not to say I don't like them but they're very easy to like, Joan Miro is very easy to like in the same way. They're hugely inventive and they all are different, that's a great thing, they each have an individual personality. I want to believe in them (like they're new) but they're still so composed. However the drips, plops, bloops don't seem premeditated they come as nature, there are certain tendencies toward discord. I believe him but I'm a bit unconvinced he believes himself. I like that he pushes a squarish canvas size, that's one way to stop composing with that overly lavish "I'm making poetry" kind of modernism. You know Thomas Nozkowski does this too, I want to be nourished from these things but they're really just old bones with no meat. Beautifully dazzling olde bones but the meat is available elsewhere. I want belief from these things not just another nice picture. Make 'em really fukin ugly man. It's hard work and I struggle with many of these issues myself so this work really hits me in some sore spots. I think he's one to watch though. From the web page he's got stuff from the last 6 years, that signals to me that he really takes his time with these things, or maybe he's just lazy but the energy says different.
well, I agree and I don't. I agree that any artist really needs to push the extremes (really pretty or really tough). I disagree that Rob needs to get "ugly." I like this recent painting much more that his older work. Not necessarily because it is cleaner, but everything is more purposeful and particular. This painting here has a very strong effect on me. (The drips are the only unecessary thing here.)
i don't think his current show is safe at all. I got the sense of conviction and that the work was challenging and risky. The smaller paintings, some of which are on the mixed greens website (www.mixedgreens.com) are really edgy and compositionally 'off'- especially the diptychs. and the installation of hundreds of drawings was great- sort of a dictionary or lexicon of ideas all vastly different from one another and you could sort of see how they mutated into some of the paintings.
This painting fits in the Mixed Greens mold. That is, its is not going to offend anyone and it will please the eye.Mixed greens started out that way and will end that way, not with a bang, but with a going out of business sale - not that I think that will happen anytime soon.But beneath that (style is shallow) most of the MG artists seem concerend with something, but I think the ones that are leave for "better" - more conceptual/psychological galleries. Sophisticated folk art - towing the line between international style and down home goodness.Which is to say mixed greens is a great place to shop for office decor or your safe house. Don't you want to feel safe? This stack of magazine spines might tip over in the breeze.But I'd eat breakfast next to it, or poop under it, or read the new york times in a sunbeam near it.In another way it reminds me of a graphic representation of my hard drive - fragmented, yet pretty.Data can be read top down or from the side.Stuff like that.
i looked at this image yesterday thinking "oh, a new artist for me", but it wasn't until today and looking at barry hoggard's flickr account images that i realized i actually saw this mixed greens show. i guess that means it didn't leave much of an impression.it is interesting now to re-read the comments, remembering the show. i understand the impulse, but it is hard for me to compare these positively to heilmann, nozkowski, or westfall. maybe matt connors.now, i've looked at the work on his website and like it better than i did in the show. why? maybe i like the design part but not the painting part, and can appreciate the design part on the web without having to deal with the painting part?
I suppose it was wrongish of me to knock Thomas Nozkowski to the dirt there, I really like his paintings and of anyone doing that kind of painting now he's definately pushing himself in the studio. Nadeau is younger which is why I was giving him a hard time, I think everyone fresh out of grad school deserves to be grilled like the young artists we are (he's only two or three years older than me). Martin you're exactly on mark when you say Matt Connors, he's my age too. My real point was that I think this work could be tougher, that's all. I think most people would agree.
what exactly is tough work? and why does work need to be 'tougher'? i think the matt connors reference makes sense although his work seems a bit more fragmented. i think if you saw the show and spent some time with it, the idea of 'tough' vs 'not-tough' is really a non-issue.what is interesting to me is that the work is exploratory, that there is this whole system of drawing (many of which made me think of raul de keyser. . .an influence i think. . .). the drawings are all over the place, at moments calm and serene and barely there and at other moments dionysian and overloaded. and it is great to see how the drawings filter into the paintings, how sherds of an idea evolve into something entirely different. this creates a body of work that is not really serial, but more spherical, like there are many directions present that are sometimes tangentially connected and at other times directly connected. the appearance of modernism but anti modernist in concept maybe.
rg I like that. and I admit though I've been told some of my paintings are "tough" I haven't the slightest idea what that means. well maybe I do. anyhow, I, too find the multidirectional tangental quality refreshing, like I said, make em all different. That's cool. About toughness in painting I suppose I mean that the work is difficult, you struggle with it but it gets under your skin after all.
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