LMAKprojects is pleased to present Russell Nachman’s Palimpsest II: Apostles, Prophets and Messiahs, his first solo exhibition with the gallery. This new series of watercolors furthers Nachman’s notion of the romantic disposition in a contemporary aesthetic culture that has lost its use for metaphysics.
The “Palimpsest” work is an exploration of raw emotion, fitted within the context of an imaginary, proto-Christian document, unearthed from some undetermined time in the past. Resembling torn pages, these watercolors are composed of Christian/Pagan tropes, talismans and icons, holding the attentions of a band of Kabuki-like characters. These characters are contemporary harlequins, baring the facial “corpse paint” utilized in the culture of Norwegian Black Metal music. In a thrall of spiritual discovery, arising from a post bacchanalian stupor, they reside in poses molded from a synthesis of classic Christian painting, cinematic film stills, and backstage snapshots at rock concerts.
In the art historic tradition of the harlequin Nachman exposes core emotions and basic, human interactions via the mask. By masking the identities of these anti-heroes, as they drunkenly envision some new metaphysical dawn, Nachman achieves a greater sensibility of freedom. At the same time these highly detailed and elaborate watercolors assertively explore a new dialogue in contemporary art by returning to a pre-Modernist modality to face the inherit problems of Post Modernism and the empty condition with which it has left us.
Nachman work has been on view at the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, CT, Mills College Art Museum, CA. He has had solos shows at Freight & Volume, Sixspace Gallery, Jack the Pelican, White Columns, Mixed Greens, and shown at V1 Gallery, Roebling hall, Kohler Arts Center and Sam Romo Gallery. His work has been reviewed in the NYTimes, Art in America, Art Issues and White Hot Magazine. His work is collected by Progressive Insurance Contemporary Art Collection and the West Contemporary Art Collection.