Thomas Nozkowski: In Conversation

Thomas Nozkowski, Untitled (9-2), 2011 (courtesy of the artist and Pace Gallery)
Thomas Nozkowski, Untitled (9-2), 2011 (courtesy of the artist and Pace Gallery)

On the occasion of the upcoming exhibition Thomas Nozkowski: Recent Work at Pace Gallery, New York (on view from February 22 through March 23), Tyler Green talks to painter Thomas Nozkowski about his work.

Nozkowski comments: "I do have a kind of reality core to my work, a kind of kernel of something in the world behind everything I do. I try to come up with more improbable things to paint. What can't you paint; what shouldn't you paint; what would be really stupid to paint? What kind of devices are bankrupt? What kind of devices are so disgusting nobody would want to look at them? Let's try those things, let's look at them."

He continues: "I need a reason to make a painting. And for me the reason the reason is often that I see something that's confounding. Or I see something that I need to commemorate, or to examine, or to think about. And on walks... I see these things that I really want to persue... before there was a written language there was a visual language and our earliest ancestors would read the world, they would see things in it that meant something to them - a broken leaf, some scat on the ground, the color of the sky and what that meant in terms of weather. I think that that's something we can still channel, it's in our DNA, and I think we can find that. And we can find it in all sorts of places. For me, finding it back in the natual world is important."