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55 Orchard Street, New York, New York 10002 212 989 5467 fax 212 989 5642
 
 

James Nelson
Wild
June 25 - August 15, 2020



James Nelson has long created drawings using graphite, charcoal, and pastel on Chinese papers. Whether abstract or representational, his drawings have been characterized by their nuanced, lyrical and varied mark-making, by their subtle yet intense sense of focus, and by their clear expression of the love of drawing for its own sake.
 
Nelson has written the following about this new body of work:
 
In early 2018, I felt the need to focus on one small thing in nature, to isolate and see what drawings would result from this concentrated effort. Being winter in New York, the season and my intent were comically mismatched. So I used what was at hand, a dried bit of oak leaf hydrangea from the summer before. It was a sculptural wonderóstrange, ferocious, twisted. Come early spring, the flowering trees and so-called weeds pulled me outside to scrutinize their pollination and survival strategies (the bees and I often shared the same attraction). In June, clusters of daisies emerged to populate the roadside. These thin-stemmed, scraggly-leaved, petal-encircled ruderals proved an inexhaustible subject. Eventually the daisies gave way to blackberry brambles warning of late summer.
 
Two years on,
Wild is an almanac of the fleeting, fragile and persistent.
 
Wild has resulted in several hundred drawings. Iím always drawing to draw, and hydrangeas, wildflowers and blackberries are fascinatingly complicated. The nearly one to one scale felt right for the intimacy and simple nature of the project. The natural brown tones of some of the Chinese papers enhance the impact of the white pastel in many drawings. There were a few moments during the process when I did pull the lens back a bit and draw a broader landscape (the detail needing context).
 
Iíve never made much distinction in my work between abstraction and representation; I get to explore the challenges of drawing either way. But, the representational quality of this body of work is a reflection of the subjects themselves having something specific to convey through their physicality. For me, active looking triggers an empathic response. This is a unique time. We live in a world altered by a changed climate, yet still recognizable for the moment. Our interdependence, especially on what have been predictable cycles, exposes our mutual vulnerability. Natureís delicate perfection is under tremendous stress.
 
   James Nelson, Untitled JN10178
Untitled, 2018
Graphite on Chinese paper
lined with Kozo paper
4 1/2 x 3 1/4 inches
 James Nelson, Untitled JN10188
Untitled, 2018
Graphite and white NuPastel on Chinese paper
lined with Kozo paper
7 5/16 x 5 1/2 inches
 James Nelson, Untitled JN10183
Untitled, 2018
Graphite on Chinese paper
lined with Kozo paper
4 1/2 x 3 1/4 inches
   James Nelson, Untitled JN10190
Untitled, 2019
Graphite, charcoal, and white NuPastel on Chinese paper
lined with Kozo paper
7 3/8 x 5 1/2 inches
 James Nelson, Untitled JN10192
Untitled, 2018
Graphite on Chinese paper
lined with Kozo paper
4 1/2 x 3 1/4 inches
 James Nelson, Untitled JN10194
Untitled, 2018
Graphite on Chinese paper
lined with Kozo paper
4 1/2 x 3 1/4 inches
   James Nelson, Untitled JN10203
Untitled, 2019
Graphite, charcoal, and white NuPastel on Japanese paper
lined with Kozo paper
10 1/16 x 6 1/2 inches
 James Nelson, Untitled JN10205
Untitled, 2019
Graphite, charcoal, and white NuPastel on Chinese paper
lined with Kozo paper
10 x 6 1/2 inches
 James Nelson,Untitled JN10209
Untitled, 2018
Graphite, charcoal, and white NuPastel on Chinese paper
lined with Kozo paper
7 1/4 x 5 1/2 inches
   James Nelson, Untitled JN10214
Untitled, 2018
Graphite, charcoal, and white NuPastel on Chinese paper
lined with Kozo paper
7 5/16 x 5 1/2 inches
 James Nelson, Untitled JN10217
Untitled, 2019
Graphite and charcoal on Chinese paper
lined with Kozo paper
7 1/4 x 5 1/2 inches
 James Nelson, Untitled JN10219
Untitled, 2018
Graphite, charcoal, and white NuPastel on Chinese paper
lined with Kozo paper
7 3/8 x 5 1/2 inches
   James Nelson, Untitled JN10221
Untitled, 2018
Graphite and charcoal on Chinese paper
lined with Kozo paper
10 1/6 x 6 1/2 inches
 James Nelson, Untitled JN10223
Untitled, 2019
Graphite and charcoal on Chinese paper
lined with Kozo paper
7 5/16 x 5 1/2 inches
 James Nelson, Untitled JN10228
Untitled, 2019
Graphite and charcoal on Chinese paper
lined with Kozo paper
4 1/2 x 3 1/4 inches
   James Nelson, Untitled JN10230
Untitled, 2019
Graphite, charcoal, and white NuPastel on Chinese paper
lined with Kozo paper
7 5/16 x 5 9/16 inches
 James Nelson, Untitled JN10233
Untitled, 2019
Graphite, charcoal, and white NuPastel on Chinese paper
lined with Kozo paper
4 1/2 x 3 1/4 inches
 James Nelson, Untitled JN10234
Untitled, 2019
Graphite, charcoal, and white NuPastel on Chinese paper
lined with Kozo paper
4 1/2 x 3 1/4 inches
  James Nelson, installation view 1
Installation view
James Nelson, installation view 2
Installation view
James Nelson, installation view 3
Installation view
  James Nelson, installation view 4
Installation view
James Nelson, installation view 5
Installation view
James Nelson, installation view 6
Installation view
  James Nelson, installation view 7
Installation view
James Nelson, installation view 8
Installation view
James Nelson, installation view 9
Installation view
  James Nelson, installation view 10
Installation view
James Nelson, installation view 11
Installation view
James Nelson, installation view 12
Installation view
  James Nelson, installation view 13
Installation view
James Nelson, installation view 14
Installation view
James Nelson, installation view 15
Installation view
  James Nelson, installation view 16
Installation view
James Nelson, installation view 17
Installation view
James Nelson, installation view 18
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  James Nelson, installation view 24
Installation view
James Nelson, installation view 19
Installation view
James Nelson, installation view 20
Installation view
  James Nelson, installation view 21
Installation view
James Nelson, installation view 22
Installation view
James Nelson, installation view 23
Installation view
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