Garden - Painting by Nicholas Evans-Cato
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Nicholas Evans-Cato
Garden

About

Every painting begins with a place to stand. Sometimes I find one in seconds; sometimes the hunt goes on for many seasons. A canvas can easily frame the everyday. But my task is to trap the exceptional. Whether I am outside on site, or in the studio working from memory, painting is a personal, idiosyncratic process founded in obsession, and wonder. "My subjects are genuine locations. They all have names, and many have familiar and private associations. But my attraction to a particular street or building often comes, in part, from a suspicion that it is also, in a sense, nameless. I nurture enduring relationships with a terrain. But for me, a particular motif resonates when it seems eligible for a larger catalog of spatial forms. My paintings are less portraits of Brooklyn than pages in an expansive, borderless inventory of space and light. Their index-like titles and typically symmetrical or balanced compositions intend to hint at something of the monumental, appropriate to a classifying program. It is neither the landscape's planning nor its architecture which conjures the shapes I paint. Rather, it is its observation; it is how a place appears that forms a distinct typology. At street level, tight, box-like canyons of space offer motifs best captured in a square format, while aerial, panoramic views from a rooftop invite me to explode them in a wider canvas. When looking around to frame a wider view, the optical distortions of curvilinear perspective weave parallel lines into trajectories mirroring the dome of the sky. And on a clear day, the path of the sun traces analogous curves across it. Only turning achieves a panoramic view, and sky and street are themselves revealed as events. At times, glare, fog, rain and snow are also deliberately organizing factors in my choice of standpoint. I wait for and design with all of them. Land maps posit an objective viewpoint. But star maps are simply precise drawings made from Earth's orbit. The Constellations are mnemonic tools which gather together otherwise unrelated stars for the purpose of giving recognizable shapes to an empirical measure of time. Likewise, framing architectural geometries inside four corners requires witnessing. In the dark an apple is not green. Time and light render the American vernacular something fragile, less an anchor than an apparition. I am sustained by its silence, and its modesty.

Details

  • Condition
    Excellent.
  • Dimensions

    H 5 in. x W 7 in.

    H 12.7 cm x W 17.78 cm

  • Gallery location
    New York, NY
  • Reference number
    LU18323068811

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