Midnight winter wonderlands

By GREG COOK  |  December 4, 2013
 1206_art_cat_top.jpg
SOFT AND FUZZY A detail from Nixon's 'Cats 8-9-10.'
The oil paintings in “Andrew Nixon: The Attitudes of Animals In Motion,” at Cade Tompkins Projects (198 Hope St, Providence, through December 28), are inspired by Eadweard Muybridge’s landmark photographic studies of horses, pigs, deer, and dogs trotting around that he first published in 1887.

Nixon’s touch is soft and fuzzy, somewhere between the lite drollness of a New Yorker magazine cover (as in a past work of a jockey scanning a map as his horse rounds a track) and the haziness of memory. The paintings have something of the charming awkwardness of folk art, too — these images are inspired by photos of animals in motion, but the proportions are a bit off and instead of a sense of action, his cats and oxen and leaping horses seem like they’re carved from wood.

Muybridge’s multiple frozen images of each animal are referenced via single paintings featuring multiple sequential images of an ox strolling, a dog trotting, a white cat leaping. One of the larger canvases is a single image of an Elephant Walking. It’s a big gray beast, one front leg in the air as it lumbers along a pasty red floor. Details have evaporated, like the eye and wrinkles except around the ear and back leg. Rather it’s a walking shadow, the idea of an elephant, that manages to feel sort of sad and tired and trapped.

Follow Greg Cook on Twitter @AestheticResear.

< prev  1  |  2  | 
| More


Most Popular
ARTICLES BY GREG COOK
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   A WORLD GONE WRONG  |  August 20, 2014
    The skies always seem threatening in Jennifer Hrabota Lesser’s paintings.
  •   OUTWARD AND INWARD  |  August 06, 2014
    A couple years or so back, Samuel Denoncour spent a year traveling alone across these United States.
  •   BEAUTY AND RUIN  |  July 30, 2014
    You’ve surely seen Providence painter Agustín Patiño’s work.
  •   EVOLVING PERSPECTIVES  |  July 23, 2014
    Somewhere around the 1950s, Florence Leif drastically changed her style.
  •   DOODLES, LIGHTS, AND DREAMS  |  July 16, 2014
    Gibson Prouty has found a muse — classic yellow pencils with pink erasers on the end.

 See all articles by: GREG COOK