Nick Lamia: Cloud Architecture
March 3 to April 9, 2022
Reception March 31, 2022, 6-8pm
Planthouse is proud to present Cloud Architecture featuring recent graphite drawings by Nick Lamia on view from March 3 to April 9, 2022.
On Muscongus Bay, Maine, an eight-year-old boy in a boat with his dad notices for the first time the diagonal smudge that is rain beneath distant cotton clouds. The blimpish cumuli swiftly gain on father and son, drenching them under a bright summer shower.
Without dad, the boy, who now studies ecology, spends Halloween somewhere in the Bermuda Triangle steering a sloop through the snarled fringes of Hurricane Florence.
This time two smudges appear, one atop another, miles astern. Slowly at first, then accelerating ominously, the double-decker blur sashays across the ocean surface. The mass resolves not as two objects but a single giant vertical tube of wind and water with a narrow waist that spins wider up top and down below. Waterspout! Connecting for just a moment, it shreds the jib and moves on.
In Maine again, with a graying beard, the “kid” looks out over his boys playing on a beach. He spots a spunky young cloud above the pines on the far shore. Its flight parallels the top edge of his sketchbook, and he draws it. Each time he looks down at his picture, though, the structure of the cloud changes, and he must begin again. Finally, frustrated by the cloud’s mutations, he settles for a series of approximations. Some are more interesting than others.
I describe these episodes partly because each involves clouds, which inspired these artworks. But more importantly, the events’ formative impact on me makes them stand out like pearls among wampum on the string of events in my life. These special memories remain clear while others fade. Their conspicuousness invites reflection.
Careful contemplation is an essential part of my drawing process, and I hope each work here will reward viewers who look closely. Life events, changing cloud forms, and the stages of a drawing exist as an accumulation of past actions that set the stage for future possibilities. And like life and clouds, not all stages of a picture are equal. It is my job, and great pleasure, to seek and find, through drawing, imagery of particular vitality and then to let it be. Each time I stop working on an image, I perceive an unquestionable entity. This ineffable but specific wholeness compels me to make it permanent by leaving it alone.
NICK LAMIA (b. 1971) Born in Santa Monica, CA. Lamia currently lives in New York City. He is an award-winning artist whose work includes drawing, painting, printmaking, installation, and sculpture. He is the recipient of a Guggenheim fellowship and residencies at Wave Hill, The MacDowell Colony, the Robert Blackburn Print Workshop, and the Triangle Artists Association. In addition, 500 of his small-scale drawings were included in the inaugural Bronx Museum Biennial in 2011. Recent solo exhibitions include Cloud, Mountain, Valley, Sea at Jason McCoy Gallery in New York and Greenhouse, for which he created a group of site-specific wall works for the Richard Meier building at Grand Army Plaza in Brooklyn.