Beginning May 2nd 2007, Autoversion, Ltd. presents the temporally reflective British-born pop painter, Mary Nicholson. Nicholson’s impulsive depictions of rock stars, headline news and frozen media samplings offer both mercurial and romantic engagements between consumers and their image saturated society. Her work is initiated through a performative act. She first identifies with each image. Then she attempts to send or receive “suspended” communications. Her performance translates into a metaphysical relationship with a subject that will disappear within a fraction of a second. Her product is Warholian-style portraiture spiced with Koonsian corporate awareness layered on top of broad expressionistic brushstrokes and dripping with post-punk sentimentality. Nicholson has exhibited internationally, including Agnes B, Paris, Manchester Art Centre, UK, and John Connelly Presents in New York City.
Titled after one of the most essential options located on remote control devices and manually operated consumer gadgets worldwide, “PAUSE” basks in the recess from some of our favorite technological pastimes and relishes its visual crystallization of fleeting moments. Captured from “the DVD format”, Nicholson’s television and motion picture frames waste no time in generating instantaneous imagery with painterly precision. Still moments taken from Ingmar Bergman’s “Persona”, Kar Wai Wong’s “2046” & NBC’s “Miami Vice” exhibit Ms. Nicholson’s graceful clarity and control over her brush.
Nicholson’s ontological suspension of all things hyper-informational continues onto the printed page. Her renditions of press clippings and newspaper headlines portray bio-research articles hung in limbo. The canvases distill an empathy from the impact of what is about to be replaced by tomorrow’s breaking news and the improbability of being able to thoroughly expand upon it today. Both disheartening and beautiful, the paintings appreciate both the exotic nuances of our contemporary landscape and the dread of its unknown capacities.
Switching to the CD player, Nicholson’s sophisticated portraits of rock stars effortlessly capture the knowing gaze of Patti Smith, the casual cool of Jimmy Page and the sensual jerk of Prince. David Bowie is rendered here frozen in a mirrored gaze (on pause) from Nicholas Roeg’s “The Man Who Fell To Earth”. The painting exhibits an awareness of its viewer enacting his or her own mirrored gaze into an image traveling at the speed of light.
“PAUSE” concludes with its very own graphic logo, a linear rainbow. Hyper-symbolically uplifting, innocuous, political & ubiquitous, the rainbow is the ultimate mascot for Nicholson’s existentially super-connected paintings. Like rainbows, Nicholson’s work refracts color from light during a passage from one element to another. Nicholson pinpoints this moment somewhere between “play” and “stop”. It is here the artist believes we can see a reflection of contemporary society’s most ecstatic and melancholic moments.