Nigel Van Wieck is an American painter who lives and works in New York. In 1995 his work was exposed at The Venice Biennale’s Centennial Exhibition, in Venice. For the past five years, he had three exhibition at Galerie Elisabeth Michitsch, in Vienna.
It doesn’t take long for art critics to mention Edward Hopper when commenting the work of Nigel Van Wieck. And with good reasons. Here’s an excerpt from a short essay written by art critic and independent curator David Galloway for the exhibition Escape held in Vienna at the Galerie Elisabeth Michitsch:
For nearly two decades, Nigel Van Wieck has been evolving a distinctive idiom firmly rooted in the tradition of American realism. His small-format oils offer glimpses of classic Americana: racetracks and baseball fields, toy sailboats skimming over a pond, tourists relaxing on sun-drenched beaches. Typically his are solitary figures, often recalling the loners once celebrated by Edward Hopper, and though there is no Hopperesque gloom here, at moments there emerges a vague sense of the ominous. (first published in ARTnews, February 2011).
The girl in Nigel Van Wieck’s train reminded me of the painting Summer Interior by Edward Hopper (1909).
Both subject seem to have collapsed, as if brought down by a heavy but an invisible weight or an unnamed sadness. Both portrait somehow speak of lassitude and weariness. In his Cool Memories (1980-1985) Jean Baudrillard observed:
Melancholy is just as much an affectation as joie de vivre –who is happy to be alive? Beings, like things, are naturally prostrate and only manage to seem happy by a superhuman effort, which has a great deal of affectation in it, but this is more in line with the involution of things. (tr. by Chris Turner, New York: Verso, 1990 p. 4. Google books)
More resources online about Nigel Van Wieck:
This newsletter serves one purpose only: it sends a single email notification whenever a new post is published on aphelis.net, never more than once a day. Upon subscribing, you will receive a confirmation email (if you don’t, check your spam folder). You can unsubscribe at any time.