Frye Art Museum

photo by Jill Berarducci

Seattle, Washington



Graham Nickson: Dual Natures


British-born artist Graham Nickson (b. 1946) has been an important influence in American figurative art, both as a practicing artist and an outstanding teacher at the New York School of Drawing, Painting, and Sculpture. Nickson will exhibit for the first time in Seattle at the Frye Art Museum beginning May 12, 2000 and continuing through July 16, 2000.

Since his arrival in New York from Great Britain in 1976, both Nickson's paintings and teaching marathons have become well-known. His methodology is based on the practice of drawing, the most literal example being the popular marathon workshops that have put the New York School on the artistic map. (left: Rainbathers, 1983-97, acrylic on canvas, 96 x 156 inches)

Art historian Jack Flam has called Nickson's works "Haunting subject matter with rigorous pictorial construction..." The Frye will exhibit the most recent paintings from Nickson's bathing series. For the past two decades, Nickson has worked on a series of bold paintings and drawings depicting bathers, either singly or in various groupings. Rather than stifling creativity, this single-minded approach has given the artist the scope to deal with the issues of color, form, and content. An example is Sphinx, a recent gift to the Frye. Figures of bathers are arranged along a shallow beach, in poses that recall the bathers painted by Paul Cézanne in the 1880s.

After training at the Painting School of the Royal College of Art, London, Nickson was awarded the Prix de Rome, and studied and worked at the British School in Rome from 1972 to 1974. Before moving to New York, he returned to Rome as a member of the painting faculty of the British School. Currently, Mr. Nickson is dean of the New York School of Drawing, Painting, and Sculpture. The exhibition and drawing marathon workshop are made possible, in part: by a grant from the Robert Lehman Foundation, Inc.

Read more in Resource Library Magazine about the Frye Art Museum.

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