Elements: An Exploration of the Natural World

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Elements An Exploration of the Natural World

Contents William Nichols


Rosalyn Bodycomb


JosĂŠ Basso


Josep Moncada


Maurizio Lanzillotta


Johan Abeling


Jamie Perry


Jay Mercado


Bo Markenholm


David De Biasio


Elements An Exploration of the Natural World

CK Contemporary

William Nichols (American, born 1942)

William Nichols’ paintings have always represented a paradox of styles and techniques. At once gestural and impressionistic, as well as nearly photo-realistic, they fall into a category completely their own. The scale and the up-close intimacy of his scenes create the sense that one is standing squarely in the landscape, rather than observing it from a vista or approaching it frontally. However, while this perception of immersion gives his paintings a feeling of unmistakable reality, his rapid and gestural application of paint imparts a sensual and tactile awareness of the canvas surface that is sometimes quite surprising. The result is always a sophisticated combination of strength, structure and subtlety. While his subjects are innately beautiful, Nichols’ keen and singular sensibilities allow him to reveal the underlying toughness or edge in his landscapes that both embrace and reveal their beauty yet transcend the sentimental and merely pretty - a rare gift that has set him apart amongst most other landscape painters during his nearly forty year exhibition history. In that time, his work has garnered him international attention from collectors, critics and museums alike, including a retrospective at the Butler Institute of American Art and inclusion in exhibitions in the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; the Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts in Kaohsiung, Taiwan; the Philbrook Museum of Art in Tulsa, Oklahoma; the Milwaukee Art Museum in Milwaukee, Wisconsin; the Boise Art Museum in Boise, Idaho; and the Tampa Museum of Art in Tampa, Florida, among others.

Along a Road in Door County

oil on linen

62 x 66 inches

Fall Leaves on Bradley Creek

oil on linen

57 x 72 inches

Gardens at Giverny

watercolor on paper

23 x 40 inches

Rosalyn Bodycomb (American, born 1958)

Rosalyn Bodycomb’s paintings stand as both a respite from and a space in which to contemplate the chaotic world around us. Her images appear abstract and painterly, until one realizes they are in fact hyperrealistic and carefully observed renderings of a specific place and time. Her waterscapes capture the deep intricacies of the natural world and beckon us to imagine our way in. Bodycomb received a Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters and Sculptors Award in 2005, a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship in 2007, and a PollockKrasner Grant in 2009. Her work is in the permanent collection of the Dallas Museum of Art and many private collections across the United States. She was born in Honolulu, Hawaii and spent her childhood in Southern California. She received a Master of Fine Arts Degree in Painting from Texas Christian University of Fort Worth, and currently lives and works in New York City.

Marion River XI

oil on panel

24 x 36 inches

Samothraki III oil on panel 32 x 24 inches

Evidentia I oil on linen 94 1/2 x 71 inches

Coney Island I oil on canvas 23 3/4 x 18 inches

Coney Island II oil on canvas 23 3/4 x 18 inches

José Basso (Chilean, born 1949)

José Basso’s unique landscapes are at once serene and intense. It’s quite easy to lose oneself in the beauty of the jewel like colors and soft infusion of light that set the foundation for his work. However, it’s the artist’s ability to strip down the natural world to its most essential elements, leaving only light, air, space and the few components that remind us of the human presence, that allows him to communicate extraordinary complexity. His paintings exhibit an almost mathematical exactness to the organization of space, but the simplicity and precision in his compositions belie the intricacy of his brushwork and the sophistication of his intentions. Though they skim the surface of traditional landscape painting, Basso’s canvases inhabit the intermediate moment between representational offerings of his native Chile and absolute abstraction. Parallel bands of color which serve to anchor strong horizon lines are punctuated only by the geometric forms of houses and trees. This complete division of space breaks Basso’s landscapes into two distinct worlds - that of the human on one side and the metaphysical on the other. By suppressing representational naturalism and favoring a haunting equilibrium he captures the essence of solitude, serenity, longing and memory. José Basso has garnered numerous awards accolades. In 2011 he was honored with a retrospective at the National Museum of Fine Arts in Santiago, Chile - a show that was voted as the best exhibition of the year by the Museum Board, and in 2015 he was named as one of Chile’s best living artists. He has completed countless important private and public commissions and continues to be added to the permanent collections of museums throughout South America and abroad.

Conjunci贸n y Luz Naranja oil on canvas 40 x 30 inches

Opposite Page: Nubes Blancas Sobre el Valle oil on canvas 30 x 40 inches

Conjunci贸n Sobre Cielo Claro oil on canvas 60 x 40 inches

Luna Temprana oil on canvas 60 x 40 inches

La Niebla Avanzando oil on canvas 60 x 30 inches

Nubes del Atardecer oil on canvas 60 x 30 inches

Noche de Conjuncion oil on canvas 24 x 20 inches

Cielo con Nubes oil on canvas 36 x 24 inches

Josep Moncada (Spanish, born 1967)

Josep Moncada’s hypnotic paintings explore light’s interaction with water and the sensuality of the female form. Subtly voyeuristic in nature, his women, submerged in vibrant underwater landscapes, float weightlessly in a world rooted between reality and fantasy. With soft brushwork and heightened color, they communicate the strong sense memory of warm sun and summer days, that is somewhat surreal and yet completely familiar. He states that his mission is to “awaken the consciences of those who want and are willing to do so.” Moncada has participated in exhibitions in Barcelona, Madrid, Menorca and Mallorca, earning first prize at the Festes St. Bartomeu, Ferreries (2001) and was voted ‘favorite artist’ at the Premi St. Antoni, Menorca in 2003, the year he was also awarded a scholarship by the Talens España.

Raining Inside... What You Thought You Knew oil on linen 43 x 43 inches

Sweet and Subtle Silence oil on linen 43 x 43 inches

Joyous Calm oil on linen 29 1/2 x 29 1/2 inches


oil on linen

29 1/2 x 43 inches

Poseidon oil on linen 29 1/2 x 29 1/2 inches

Maurizio Lanzillotta (Italian, born 1960)

Atmosphere, color, light, intimacy, order, nostalgia - these are the words that float to mind when in the presence of the delicately rendered paintings of Maurizio Lanzillotta. Raised in the Emilia Romagna region of Italy, shrouded in a dense fog that he has labeled both mystical and poetic, Lanzillotta’s foundation as an artist and his unique and particular interpretation of the landscape was established at an early age. When he later emigrated from Italy to Spain in 1987, it was his experience with the “meseta castellana” that immediately resonated with those childhood feelings. In reference to the open plains of Spain he states that, “It was fascinating for me, the enormous distances that could be reached with the eye toward any direction. The emptiness, that grand vacancy that would intensify even more with a solitary presence. I had the sensation that these spaces captivated and left you with an intuitive mystery to ponder, a sensation difficult to explain with words, a sensation intimately corresponding to the spirit.” One does not always associate “the spirit” with landscape painting, but then again, rarely has a landscape painter so flawlessly nested the forms of nature into such a sacred geometry and sense of unity. Lanzillotta’s canvases are dreamlike in their diffusion and envelop the viewer in the bliss of nature, creating order out of disorder, and offering contemplative spaces that highlight the relationship between ourselves and the world around us. In fact, when faced with a painting by Maurizio Lanzillotta, it’s like being plunged into the experience of recalling a memory that remains hazy but slowly comes into view - where the color fades, the light glows, and through the mist emerges an exquisite structure that suddenly feels like somewhere you know, somewhere you’ve been or somewhere you’d like to be.

Birds and Fishes

oil on linen

24 1/2 x 78 3/4 inches

Nuvola su Bosco

oil on linen

31 1/2 x 31 1/2 inches

Left: Sand oil on linen 63 1/2 x 23 1/4 inches

Middle: Sea oil on linen 63 1/2 x 23 1/4 inches

Right: Clouds oil on linen 63 1/2 x 23 1/4 inches

Casa di Fronte alla Pineta

oil on linen

31 1/2 x 31 1/2 inches

Onda e Nube

oil on linen

18 x 45 1/2 inches

Johan Abeling (Dutch, born 1953)

Johan Abeling’s paintings radiate with a mysterious atmosphere. They are both minutely detailed and yet obscured by a pervasive mist that envelopes his scenes. He prefers to paint the expansive northern Dutch landscape, where he is fascinated by the emptiness and the silence, sometimes inserting old Dutchstyle villas, gates or border fences as the only sign of human presence. Though he borrows from reality, Abeling combines the natural elements of his native land to create a world present in his imagination alone. In that way, his paintings serve not only as a haven for himself as an artist but as a respite from the outside world for us all. He states that, “It’s the atmosphere, the feelings evoked, playing with composition and light. My paintings are the true personalities each with a personal story and emotion. One can also see them as a moment of respite in a turbulent world where there is almost no time for contemplation. But there is also a disorienting quality in the quiet.” Abeling could easily be considered a master of sfumato, a technique of overlapping several layers of transparent paint and softening tones and outlines so the look of diffused and filtered light is created. This technique was first applied by Leonardo da Vinci in the 15th century and Abeling uses it to increase the mysterious effect in his paintings with extraordinary skill. He has exhibited Internationally for over 30 years and his paintings can be found in several prominent private and public collections, including the Museum De Buitenplaats, the Eelde Museum of Lien and the Drents Museum in Assen.

Opposite: Deer Park acrylic on panel 24 x 33 1/2 inches

Sunday Morning

acrylic on panel

19 3/4 x 31 1/2 inches


oil on panel

21 3/4 x 31 1/2 inches

Jamie Perry (American, born 1962)

Jamie Perry’s simple compositions and minimal, yet striking imagery are the foundation of his work. Inspired by artists like Edward Hopper, Winslow Homer, Maynard Dixon and Andrew Wyeth, he aims to celebrate the forgotten icons of Americana. Though his paintings often have a cinematic or narrative feeling, he strives to create a story using as few details as possible, often stripping down the painting to an almost composite abstraction, and then using light, space, and atmosphere to build it back up. He states that, “My paintings are pictorial reflections of images and experiences of the past, where viewers can be transcended to a time and place where life was simple and unobstructed.� Perry is largely self taught though he developed his portfolio at the prestigious Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California.

Silhouette acrylic on canvas 24 x 24 inches

The Edge acrylic on canvas 24 x 24 inches

A House in the Hills acrylic on canvas 40 x 40 inches

Jay Mercado (American, born 1958)

Jay Mercado was born in Sioux City, Iowa and raised in San Francisco. Known for his still life paintings of illuminated natural objects that are out of context and over scale, he finds inspiration in the offerings of the land and communities around him. His new body of work is a fresh series of paintings based on his fascination with a region of San Francisco known as Lands End. In The Lands End Project, Mercado explores the balance between opposing forces, the tension of opposites and the space between them. The sky and sea reinforce the solidity of the stone and speak to the changing climates and seasons of a lifetime. Mercado states that, “At this point in my evolution as an artist I extend my artwork to integrate all the iconic elements of the world familiar to me near the coast at Lands End. In doing so I aim to unify these disparate components and reveal their essential meaning in a spectacular place where grounding gives way to an ocean of limitless possibility.� Mercado studied painting at UCLA, Art Center College of Design, California College of Arts & Crafts and the Academy of Art College.

Seal Rock #1

oil on panel

32 x 27 5/8 inches

Seal Rock #2

oil on panel

32 x 27 5/8 inches

Portrait of a Rock Star #1 oil on panel 32 x 27 5/8 inches

Portrait of a Rock Star #2 oil on panel 32 x 27 5/8 inches

Bo Markenholm (Swedish, born 1964)

Bo Markenholm recalls a very specific moment as the catalyst in his decision to explore a career as an artist. As a child, his first experience seeing Ralph Goings’ iconic masterpiece “Hot Fudge Sundae Interior” allowed him to see the possibilities available to him and opened him to the idea that such illusion could be created on a piece of canvas. He devoted himself to oil painting at that point, subsequently studying Art History at Lund University in Sweden. Throughout his career he has perfected his version of realism, though he states that, “Hyper Realism, Super Realism, Photorealism ... you can call it what you want. For me it is only important to create life on the screen - my motives are not photographs but reality.”

Stones oil on canvas 19 3/4 x 19 3/4 inches

David De Biasio (Italian, born 1973)

With careful attention to both traditional and contemporary values, David De Biasio’s paintings are part of what he likes to call the “tradition of the new” - building on the ideals of classic Italian artistic traditions yet viewed through a contemporary lens. Though distinctly Italian, De Biasio’s personal visual revolution occurred in the United States, where he lived from 2003 to 2008, integrating himself into New York’s variegated and lively art scene. He had the opportunity to maintain direct interaction with prominent photorealist painters, which fundamentally enriched his still life paintings. These experiences led De Biasio to a more technical, in-depth pictorial exploration aimed at achieving an extreme realism, which is still deeply rooted in the traditional Italian definition of beauty. His most recent body of work, titled Contaminazioni, represents the interplay between man and nature. In these paintings natural elements (flowers, plants, branches, fruits, vegetables, earth, clay, organic matter...) are counter posed in relation to artificial elements (plastic, styrofoam, plasticine, industrial wastes, rust...). The organic and inorganic are at odds and yet remain harmonious, contaminating each other and in the process, creating new imaginary subjects.

Contaminazioni #128 oil on linen 19 5/8 x 19 5/8 inches

Contaminazioni #129 oil on linen 19 5/8 x 19 5/8 inches

Contaminazioni #133 oil on linen 19 5/8 x 19 5/8 inches

Contaminazioni #134 oil on linen 19 5/8 x 19 5/8 inches

Contaminazioni #127 oil on linen 19 5/8 x 19 5/8 inches

Contaminazioni #135 oil on linen 19 5/8 x 19 5/8 inches

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