Rick Briggs blogs about the work of painter Dona Nelson, whose exhibition Phigor is on view at Thomas Erben Gallery, New York through May 17, 2014.
Briggs writes: "One of the relative constants amidst the variety of these paintings is the previously mentioned imprint of the grid of the stretcher and crossbars on the canvas. Nelson’s grids function as compositional scaffolds for the painting’s riot of material complexity and brightly colored images; they also act as direct indexical markers regarding the physical structure of the painting. Nelson’s constantly points to painting as both image and object. Similarly, in “Red and Green Noses,” she sews lengths of colored string through the canvas, front to back and back and forth, before knotting them off – the line, both literally and figuratively, ties the two sides together. In a recent artist’s statement regarding this interdependence of the two sides, Nelson spoke of her fascination with 'the way in which two very different visual and physical manifestations can be inseparable from and, indeed, create each other.' "