Thomas Nozkowski: Selected Paintings 1980-1990

September 2–October 29, 1991
Beaver College Art Gallery


"Thomas Nozkowski: Selected Paintings 1980–1990" will be exhibited from September 16–October 27 at Beaver College Art Gallery, located in the Spruance Art Center on the campus at Church and Easton Roads. There will be an artist's lecture on Thursday, September 26, 1991 at 6:00 PM followed by a public reception in the Gallery in honor of Nowkowski. Both events are free and open to the public.

This exhibition of twenty five paintings presents a selected overview of Nozkowski's work and attempts to trace the evolution of this abstract painter's distinctive vision. Nozkowski began in the late 70s to make paintings that violated the overly conceptual and programmatic approach then current, seeking instead to engage traditional issues of touch, gesture, surface texture, and figure / ground relationship in paintings that he "could be responsible for." These works have been characterized by deliberately anti-heroic scale (most of the pieces are 16" x 20"); a penchant for an eccentric, organic formal vocabulary, and an unusual, off-key color sensibility. Such qualities are evident from the early experiments with a relatively simple, iconic central image on painterly grounds to the most recent highly compacted, rich condensations of form and color. Their emblematic iconography, with roots in art history and the real world, hints at landscape, architecture, and man-made signs, but is ultimately based not on representation but evocation and allusion.

Nozkowski's exhibition at Beaver College emphasizes his work of the late 80s in particular; they reach a masterly control of the contradictory elements — geometry, line, biomorphic shapes — which he has consistently engaged in sophisticated dialogue. "Nozkowski is recognized as an artist's artist," noted Gallery Director Paula Marincola, "and we are privileged to mount this small retrospective of his career to date. It's also a good moment to again examine the viability of abstract painting and the way in which it generates meaning, and Nozkowski is one of its most committed exponents."


Thomas Nozkowski lives and works in New York City. He was born in Teaneck, New Jersey in 1994. He attended the Cooper Union Art School of Art, where he received his BFA in 1967. In Philadelphia he is represented by Max Protech Gallery, where he will be having a solo show this October. He also exhibits his work Philadelphia at Cava Gallery, which mounted a show of his own on paper last April. He is recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship and a New York State Foundation of the Arts Fellowship.