511 West 25th Street, New York, New York 10001 212 989 5467 fax 212 989 5642
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  James Nelson
 Head of a Girl
 September 6 - Ocotber 6, 2007
 

James Nelson's newest drawings are clearly representational, in contrast to his previous body of abstract work which featured incredibly detailed, obsessive mark making. Nelson's inspiration and the name for this show come from the traditional title for portrait drawings of unidentified female sitters. The artist writes of his subject: "Traditional Head of a Girl drawings -- perhaps the best loved are those of Andrea del Verrocchio -- are striking in their intimacy and sensitivity but ambiguous as to the connection between artist and subject: they beg the questions who, where, why and what kind of relationship, what passed between them?....In the absence of specific physiological information, hair becomes an important emblem of identity, an abstract playground for expression, a fetish of desire." Done in charcoal, the drawings convey the immediacy of that medium as well as a sense of place and atmosphere. The ability to rework, erase and blur the charcoal allows Nelson to "draw as a sculptor," as he spontaneously builds volumes and forms on the sheets of light-blue or white Japanese handmade paper. The resulting shapes appear as knotted skeins piled in lumpy mounds or mysteriously suspended in space. These coils and volutes sometimes seem to inhabit or define landscapes, but often exist in ambiguous spaces of a slightly brooding or sinister nature.
 
 
Head of a Girl, #52, 2006
Charcoal on handmade Japanese paper
39 x 25 inches

China Head, 2007
Charcoal on handmade Japanese paper
37 x 25 inches

Head of a Girl with Well, 2007
Charcoal on handmade Japanese paper
39 x 25 inches
 
Refusal, 2006
Charcoal on handmade Japanese paper
39 x 25 inches

Strand, 2007
Charcoal on handmade Japanese paper
78 x 25 inches

Head of a Girl, #133, 2007
Charcoal on handmade Japanese paper
39 x 25 inches
 
White Well, 2007
Charcoal on handmade Japanese paper
78 x 25 inches

Blue Head with Hole, 2007
Charcoal on handmade Japanese paper
37 x 25 inches

Head of a Girl, #124, 2007
Charcoal on handmade Japanese paper
78 x 25 inches
 
Head of a Girl, #155, 2007
Charcoal on handmade Japanese paper
37 x 25 inches

Glint, 2007
Charcoal on handmade Japanese paper
39 x 25 inches

Head of a Girl, #142, 2007
Charcoal on handmade Japanese paper
39 x 25 inches
 
Head of a Girl, #37, 2005
Charcoal on handmade Japanese paper
39 x 25 inches

Tilted Head, 2007
Charcoal on handmade Japanese paper
39 x 25 inches

Head of a Girl, #123, 2007
Charcoal on handmade Japanese paper
39 x 25 inches
 
Spiral with Rope, 2007
Charcoal on handmade Japanese paper
39 x 25 inches
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511 West 25th Street, New York, New York 10001 212 989 5467 fax 212 989 5642
email info@mckenziefineart.com