Groups + Pairs 2016 – 2020
John Nixon’s works are mostly made in groups or series, even though they are individual, solo paintings. Singular objects, they are made in accordance with specific parameters which define one group from another. For example, in this exhibition, a group of constructed paintings has a conceptual basis around the use of various lengths of timber that are intuitively organised across the surface of the MDF in different geometric permutations. Similarly, a group of white paintings on canvas and hessian panels are joined together to form variations on shape and structure.
The exhibition also features paired paintings, sometimes made in groups as previously but in this format displayed side-by-side. The first paired paintings were made in 2016 and this process is continuous. Many different rules of engagement are applied in the making and visual attributes of each pair. Some are simple, some, complex. Both minimal and maximal concerns within Nixon’s practice create an internal dialogue and are displayed here in evidence of his ongoing dedication to geometric abstraction.
There are three additional components in Groups + Pairs 2016 – 2020. Firstly, presented on tables, are sets of collaborative works made by Nixon and Jacqueline Stojanovic, that combine Stojanovic’s practice of weaving with Nixon’s constructed paintings.
The second component is a video titled Red + Blue (2020). The video features the dancer Grace Uchida wearing dresses from Alpha60 in conjunction with two of Nixon’s paintings. This video demonstrates Nixon’s interest in the crossover between contemporary dance and painting using alternate methods of presentation. Red + Blue is displayed in the window of Alpha60’s Flinders Lane store.
Finally, Anna Schwartz Gallery invited the artist to produce a limited run of posters for the exhibition. The posters are distributed around the inner suburbs of Melbourne and feature Nixon’s signature graphic design style.
John Nixon, 2020