Half Gallery, NYC // July 26, 2023 – August 19, 2023
“He went for the Guston. He stayed for the Wautier.” That is the way that Half Gallery‘s Bill Powers describes the works of Nicasio Fernandez and his solo show, Out of Hand, at the NYC gallery that opens this week. Somewhere along the way to seeing Philip Guston Now at Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Fernandez roamed down a corridor at the museum and came across the 17th century artist Michaelina Wautier, and that struck the NYC artist.
“The Five Senses struck me visually as this very compelling imagery. I was so impressed with her confident mark-making from how the clothing was constructed to her overall playful, witty and dark sense of humor,” recalls Fernandez. “This sensory idea was relatable and transported me into her time and place. I knew from standing in front of Wautier’s paintings that I wanted to respond. I wanted to push these moments into the poetic absurdity that my own work is built upon.”
So where Fernandez is now is a mixture of the past masters, the mid-century giants and a sort of lowbrow, pop-surreal universe where this magazine was founded. You can see a bit of R.Crumb through the lens of a New Yorker, and Fernandez makes art history entirely his own. They are funny and a bit dark, morose but uplifting. In a world that often feels like a comedy of errors, Fernandez is pulling an aesthetic string that is centuries old and so much so, contemporary. —Evan Pricco
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