Garth Greenan Gallery is pleased to announce Gladys Nilsson, an exhibition of paintings at 529 West 20th Street. Opening on October 23, 2014, the exhibition is the first solo presentation of Nilsson's work in a New York gallery since 2008. Nineteen of the artist's densely layered, intricately detailed paintings will be on view, all created between 2010 and 2014. A fully illustrated catalogue will accompany the exhibition, with an essay by Robert Storr and an interview by Dan Nadel.
The exhibition and its accompanying publication focus on three distinct series in Nilsson's work—Plant (2010), A Girl in the Arbor (2013), and A Walk… (2014). Paintings in each one incorporate large passages of collage, “sloppy drawings” in ink, colored pencil and gouache, as well as the artist's trademark watercolor. Collage last appeared in Nilsson's work circa 1969 in a series of small paintings on Plexiglas. The largest works in the exhibition, A Girl in the Arbor, are among the artist's most formally ambitious. Each of the paintings depicts a single, gargantuan figure sitting, standing, or reclining in an ambiguous outdoor space. Amidst hundreds of collaged onlookers, Nilsson's woman struggles in and out of various slips, girdles, and bras. “For whose benefit,” Storr writes, “is this acrobatic ritual performed? And will the acrobats ever successfully harness or tuck in all the lumps and bulges that seem intent of defying the clothing designed to give them coherence?” Throughout her entanglements, Nilsson's woman never loses her dignity; she remains oddly at ease, despite her obvious vulnerability.
Born in Chicago in 1940, Gladys Nilsson studied painting at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She first came to prominence in 1966, when she joined five other recent Art Institute graduates (Jim Falconer, Art Green, Jim Nutt, Suellen Rocca, and Karl Wirsum) for the first of a series of group exhibitions called the Hairy Who. In 1973, she became one of the first women to have a solo-exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art. In 1990, she accepted a teaching position at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where she is now a full professor.
Since 1966, Nilsson's work has been the subject of over 50 solo exhibitions, including sixteen at Phyllis Kind Gallery (1970-1979, 1981-1983, 1987, 1991, and 1994, Chicago and New York), and two at The Candy Store (1971 and 1987, Folsom, California). Her work has also been featured in many important museum exhibitions, such as: Human Concern/Personal Torment (1969, Whitney Museum of American Art); Who Chicago? (1981, Camden Art Center, London); Parallel Visions: Modern Artists and Outsider Art (1992, Los Angeles County Museum of Art); and Chicago Imagists (2011, Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, Wisconsin). Most recently, Nilsson's work appeared in What Nerve! Alternative Figures in American Art, 1960 to the Present (2014, Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design, Providence).
Nilsson's work is featured in the collections of major museums around the world, including: the Art Institute of Chicago; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, Wisconsin; the Milwaukee Art Museum; the Morgan Library, New York; the Museum Moderner Kunst, Vienna; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; the Museum of Modern Art; the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia; the Philadelphia Museum of Art; the Smithsonian American Art Museum; the Whitney Museum of American Art; and the Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Connecticut.
Garth Greenan Gallery is pleased to represent Gladys Nilsson.
Gladys Nilsson will be on view at Garth Greenan Gallery, 529 West 20th Street (between Tenth and Eleventh Avenues), through Saturday, December 6, 2014. The gallery is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10:00 A.M. to 6:00 P.M. For more information, please contact Garth Greenan at (212) 929-1351, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.