David Cohen moderates an email roundtable discussion on the work of Thomas Nozkowski, on view at Pace Gallery, New York, through April 25, 2015. Participants include: Joseph Masheck, David Brody, Alexander Ross, Marjorie Welish, Jennifer Riley and Raphael Rubinstein.
Rubinstein comments: "Putting aside for the moment the question of why Nozkowski and others have been subject to official neglect, let’s turn to the show at hand. The quantity, and the quality of this quantity and, perhaps most importantly, its diversity, come across as a major statement, which is rather surprising for this artist who, as our compère rightly notes, seems to fit nicely into the category of the 'painter’s painter.' One of the requirements for being a 'painter’s painter' is reticence, developing a style that seems, at least superficially, modest, declining all bombast, and any hint of wanting to make a big art-historical statement. It also helps to paint small. Nozkowski has met these superficial requirements, working at a consistently small scale (which has grown in nearly imperceptible increments over the decades), issuing no explicit challenges in technique or content to the legacy of modernist abstraction, exhibiting no hunger for iconoclasm or transgression. Of course, if one looks at the work more closely, there are all kinds of innovations and transgressions in Nozkowski’s work but they are always subtle and never announce themselves as such."