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Tucker Nichols New Paintings

January 23 - March 6, 2015

Opening reception on Friday January 23 from 6 – 9pm

Gallery 16 is pleased to present a show of new paintings by Bay Area artist Tucker Nichols, his fifth solo exhibition with the gallery. The exhibition is made up of more than 30 paintings and framed drawings, mostly of vases with flowers, a long-favored subject for the artist. “Flowers are a near perfect subject for a painting,” Nichols says. “They offer a bit of content but they can really look like anything. They’ve also been used as a stand in for inexpressible ideas since humans first started talking.” The new paintings explore more abstracted forms as well, in some cases resembling smokestacks or disheveled cakes.

Earlier this year, Nichols began making small flower paintings on paper to send by mail to sick friends. These evolved into a permanent commission of 40 framed works at the new UCSF Hospital at Mission Bay opening in February. This fall he began making the larger paintings for this exhibition “for people too busy to take care of real plants.”

Unlike previous installations in which Nichols combined many works into larger pieces, this show is composed exclusively of stand-alone paintings and drawings. “I like playing with context and location in installations, but it’s good to make things that can live on their own too,” Nichols says. “These paintings don’t need anything, not even water.”

After several years in the Marin Headlands, Nichols recently moved his studio to a former campaign headquarters above a tuxedo rental shop in downtown San Rafael. His work has been featured at the Drawing Center in New York, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Denver Art Museum, Den Frie Museum in Copenhagen, and the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco.

His drawings have been published in McSweeney's, The Thing Quarterly, Nieves Books and the Op-Ed pages of The New York Times.