Paul Nugent || Booth G11
VOLTA NY || 3 -6 March 2011
Paul Nugent’s works are influenced by photographic reproductions of eighteenth century paintings from art history books. Each painting painted in blue has the appearance of a print maker’s printing plate or of the early photographic process of cyanotypes. The photographic references are inverted through the painting process into negative images creating a kind of visual representation of the subconscious. This recalls Freud’s analysis of the photographic process of the negative plate being like the sub-conscious and the positive image the conscious. Like images from a storybook they show figures in conversation or preoccupied in their own thoughts. The backdrops from which the figures emerge are painted in layers of transparent Prussian blue, transforming these woodland environments into graceful interior worlds. That which is opened to us for viewing has the character of a dream or memory evoking what the biologist and theorist Gerald Edelman called the remembered present, “as if perception and conscious flourish only in the hazy light of memory”. Paul Nugent’s work has always explored notions of history, symbolism, time, perception and memory.
Nugent has recently exhibited at The Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, 2010; Kerava Art Museum, Finland, 2009; Kevin Kavanagh, Dublin, 2009; Centre Culturel Irlandais, Paris 2007; Art Gallery of Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, 2005; Shanghai Gallery of Modern Art & the Millennium Monument Museum, Beijing, China, 2004; University of Virginia, U.S.A.; and his work features in numerous private and public collections, including the Office of Public Works and Irish Museum of Modern Art.
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