Painter Nikki Codis, painter Nicholas Down, and mixed media artist Jackie Fucks will captivate and intrigue visitors to The White Room Gallery in Bridgehampton this April as part of a new exhibition that offers works with an unexpected yet cohesive presence.
Element of Surprise will open on Friday, April 13 and remain on view through Sunday, April 29.
“Color resonates in forms and spaces. Pouring paint knowingly and consciously in layered lines and puddles, slabbed, thin and thick, gloss, sticky and fluid in various compositions,” explained Codis, who was born and raised in Southampton and now splits her time between the Hamptons and New York City. “The aspiration for volume has manifested coherently in my body of work. My connection to the work is the use of color and form; vibrant neon colors on acrylic creates a play with transparency, which allows light to transform the color through a contrasting lens.”
The self-taught artist gained professional training at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. “I wanted to develop forms with an interest in organization and authority of chaos, as well as ideas that dealt with attraction and repulsion. The contrast between organization and chaos reflects on personal anxiety; the distress of the mind caused by fear of danger or misfortune,” Codis reflected. “The work is very influenced by the process; constantly exploring new materials and how they react to one another. My initial attraction to the work is through the vibrant use of color and form; the use of color as material.”
Down’s goal is create works that have “a sense of timelessness and abstracted beauty.” “My art has evolved in its expression for over 45 years, beginning with an initial impulse to draw and paint from my observations of the external world, it has become increasingly important for me to express the internalized, ‘invisible’ responses to what I see and perceive. Most recently, my paintings inhabit a metaphorical space, somewhere between the real and the imagined,” Down reflected. “I have found that my core idea, of making the invisible…visible, of creating the feeling of place, from the inspiration of memory, informs my gestural self as a painter, and my technique. I do not pre-conceive any particular painting at the outset, as they begin as improvisations of form, color, line and tone, and are the products of many years of direct observation from nature. I explore with vibrancy and layered depths of color on bright white gesso boards, and work to reveal the light behind, the light within, the painting.”
Through painting, Down is able to show his connection to the natural world, and share that admiration with viewers. “I feel a powerful urgency to reveal so much that is ‘out there’ but which is refracted and altered by the inner world of memory and recollection,” Down added.
Fuchs, a prolific sculptor, recently delved into paints and collage. “I create the space (or environment if you will) first. With two architectural classes under my belt, I proceed to paint one and two point perspectives,” she said. “I then collage the room with mid-century furniture, wall art, and sometimes a pet.”
Her works resemble a colorful, whimsical pause in time. “It comes together like a puzzle for me. I never premeditate the work. Before I glue anything down I arrange and create a scene,” Fuchs explained. “The heads are my personal depiction of the Modigliani paintings. Visiting the Barnes Foundation back in November triggered my childhood memories and passion for the long necks.”
“My work evolves organically. It is as if I am channeling a story that I don’t remember consciously though I am always cutting magazines in preparation for the next work of art,” Fuchs added. “I feel very close to the people in my collages. The stories are mine, and yet the appeal is universal.”
Element of Surprise‘s Opening Reception will take place on Saturday, April 14 from 5 to 7 p.m.
The White Room is located at 2415 Main Street in Bridgehampton. For more information, call 631-237-1481 or visit www.thewhiteroom.gallery.