Nick Lowe

Nick Lowe

Straddling all sorts of categories, Nick Lowe’s pictures are defined by their byzantine intermediacy between stretched canvases and works on paper, paintings and drawings, fanciful dreamscapes and pedestrian scenes. Lowe possesses an uncanny knack for agglomerating materials and techniques generally associated with either painting or drawing into dichotomous hybrids disguised as traditional canvases. The seven works displayed at Grice Bench recall Jim Dine, Wayne Thiebaud and Richard Diebenkorn but inhabit a world of their own. Works like Cactus and Tire (2017) and Dog in Landscape (2017) initially appear slapdash; but as one approaches, labyrinthine detail unfolds like an accordion. Idiosyncratic marks delineate generic imagery. Raw sketchy lines juxtapose painted passages of reworking and deliberation. Obliterating skeletal networks, scumbled patches alternately evoke atmospheric fog and weathered, whitewashed walls. Visible only very closely, meticulous abstracted embellishments are so small and removed that they seem practically pointless. Punctuated by scratches, blobs and hairs, Lowe’s surfaces are anomalously gritty like his urban subject matter. Yet despite their texture, they betray few brushstrokes. The bizarre absence of manual evidence speaks to the notion that great pains often leave little to show for their time and effort. In their intermediate states of completion and uncertainty, Lowe’s paintings poignantly tap the dismal banality of the urban landscape and eloquently allude to our world’s pervasive futility.

Grice Bench
915 Mateo Street, # 210
Los Angeles, CA 90021
Show runs through September 16