David M. Roth reviews Tucker Nichols: New Paintings at Gallery 16, San Francisco, on view through March 6, 2015.
Roth notes that "these standalone works reveal the quieter, more contemplative side of the artist’s personality. They’re plaintive works on panel and paper that depict plants, cups, teapots and other still life subjects... These works — blunt, lyrical re-imaginings of things closely observed — feel intimate and comical... Tree and plant limbs he depicts as wayward, mutant appendages, intertwined in loose, watery, fast-drawn swirls, snaky open outlines and silhouettes. Blossoms he renders as elliptical blobs, in solid colors. Both appear against flat grounds painted in chalky institutional greens, grays and dirty earth tones reminiscent of Luc Tuymans. From the flattened perspectives in these pictures one also catches intimations of Matisse and early Donald Baechler, as well as hints of Philip Guston in the lumpy, teetering vessels that serve as containers."