The latest exhibition: Speakers, created by Nicholas Party brought some much-needed colour to the December days.
In entering the discretely fronted Oxford City centre Modern Art Gallery then making your way up to the first floor, then slipping into the Piper Gallery you encounter an array of colours. The walls are painted a yellow tone, five almost two-meter tall heads make an impact on the gallery space. The fibreglass forms have a kind of sadness in their sculptural shaping, lips poised in an unhappy motion. However, each form appears bright and vibrant due to the mass of colours painted directly onto their surface. Greens, oranges and purples are stippled on to create hair, eyes are toned with darker shades, eyebrows are added and expressions are generated. The visual impact is accompanied by a sound-scape of traditional piano and cello chimes subtly playing from each cerebellum.
Swiss-born artist Nicholas Party is responsible for this amazing Oxford city centre installation. As of many of our great contemporary painters he began his artistic career as a 1990’s street graffiti artist. From the streets to a BA in fine arts at the Lausanne School of Art in Switzerland, then crossing Europe to the Glasgow School of Art to complete an MA. This was followed by an onslaught of solo exhibitions and commissions in Washington, LA, Dallas, Edinburgh and Florence. He currently works and lives in Brussels and New York.
In Speakers, his latest commission for Modern Art Oxford he has created a theatre scape installation of feminine heads. The sculptural forms stand brightly in the gallery repressing the achievement of pioneering women of Oxford. He considers the work to be:
The heavily masculine energy of Oxford’s architecture and academic histories.
A great achievement for an artist who has not forgotten his graffiti spraying routes in the array of colours he applies to his creations.
We hope to see much more from this artist who really knows how to put heads together.
25 November 2017
— 18 February 2018