This volume compiles nearly 50 recent watercolor paintings by Brussels- and Brooklyn-based Swiss artist Nicolas Party (born 1980). Party's perennial subjects are familiar yet uncanny: the sunsets and tree-laden landscapes in Watercolor are transformed through vibrant jewel-toned palettes and unorthodox compositions. His idiosyncratic approach conjures an immersive and surreal environment that is at once steeped in art historical references (Milton Avery, Ferdinand Hodler, Felix Vallotton) and extraordinarily distinctive. Party reads trees and landscapes as “constant markers, essential ingredients which always need to be used,” referring to their storied lineage in visual culture. His watercolors emerge from this historical thicket: as he explains, “I like imagining a forest made of all the trees ever painted.”
The latest book from Brussels- and Brooklyn-based Swiss artist Nicolas Party (born 1980) is a facsimile of a 2008 sketchbook in which Party has redrawn various still life paintings by William Nicholson, Giorgio Morandi, Euan Uglow and Felix Vallotton.
Brussels- and Brooklyn-based Swiss artist Nicolas Party (born 1980) creates soft pastel drawings of trees, fruit, humans and landscapes that integrate his appetite for art history in their use of adopted pictorial languages. Party’s works are focused around four consistent visual “characters”: trees, fruit, humans and landscapes, rarely commingled in the same composition. Inspiration for his bare trees comes from Milton Avery; his single-stroke ocean swells from Ferdinand Hodler are occasionally lit by Felix Vallotton sunsets; and the eerie stares of his androgynous figures echo the apocalyptic vacancy of Christian Schad. These colorful pictures incorporate disparate and contradictory elements that create a complex optical effect of instability. Nicolas Party: Pastel documents the artist's 2017 show at Karma, New York, for which he conceived a unique environment in which to present the pastels.