Nicolas Africano

Themes and Variations: The Garbo Figures

FRIDAY, June 1st, 6:00-8:00PM

"The model, posing as Greta Garbo, the actress, the pretender, posing as Pierrot, the character, as photographed by Cecil Beaton, as rendered in glass, a bloodless paradox of volume and light…does not offer grace or harmony or truth…but rather human frailty, the impermanence and bewildering uncertainty of being in the world, the cruel comedy of being lost, placeless, purposeless, faithless, disillusioned …and charmingly indifferent, self possessed, unapologetic." - Nicolas Africano

Weinstein Hammons Gallery is pleased to announce an exhibition of new work by internationally acclaimed artist Nicolas Africano. This solo exhibition, Africano’s first at the gallery since 2005, includes six new major figurative sculptures. These figures mark a radical departure in Nicolas’ oeuvre in that the figures are based on images by society photographer Cecil Beaton of Greta Garbo dressed as Pierrot the Clown in 1939. Just as Garbo in the photographs, Africano’s figure wears a ruffled collar and pointed hat.

In the 1970s, Africano became known for his large-scale paintings of small figures in vast landscapes of uniform color. The artist was inspired by narratives from the world of dance, music, and literature, such as the ballet Petrouchka and Robert Luis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr, Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. In the mid 1980’s, he began to focus more prominently on casting figures in glass.

Nicolas Africano is recognized as one of America’s leading figurative artists. His sculptures are strikingly beautiful, harboring a quiet introspection, while being commanding and dignified. They embody an eternal, classical stillness, yet seem to shift their weight in front of the viewer’s eyes. Africano has exhibited extensively throughout the United States and Europe, in both galleries and museums, since the late 1970s. His work can be found in the permanent collections of various institutions including the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; and the Minneapolis Institute of Art.