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JH

Tomislav Nikolic: Eight Paintings

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Tomislav Nikolic, pay the prophets to justify your reason, 2018 - 2019, mixed media. Tomislav Nikolic, pay the prophets to justify your reason pt.1, (detail) 2018 - 2019 acrylic polymer, marble dust, 23ct red, 22.5ct champagne, 22ct moon, 16.9ct lemon, 20ct citron, 22ct, 24ct, 12ct white, gold leaf, museum glass, on wood 7 parts Tomislav Nikolic, pay the prophets to justify your reason pt. 3, (detail) 2018 - 2019 acrylic polymer, marble dust, 23ct red, 22.5ct champagne, 22ct moon, 16.9ct lemon, 20ct citron, 22ct, 24ct, 12ct white, gold leaf, museum glass, on wood 7 parts: omislav Nikolic, pay the prophets to justify your reason pt. 6, (detail) 2018 - 2019 acrylic polymer, marble dust, 23ct red, 22.5ct champagne, 22ct moon, 16.9ct lemon, 20ct citron, 22ct, 24ct, 12ct white, gold leaf, museum glass, on wood 7 parts Tomislav Nikolic, pay the prophets to justify your reasons, installation view Fox Jensen McCrory, Auckland, 2019 Tomislav Nikolic, pay the prophets to justify your reasons, installation view Fox Jensen McCrory, Auckland, 2019 Tomislav Nikolic, 1: lies come hard in disguise, 2018 - 2019 acrylic polymer, marble dust, 23ct red gold leaf, bronze, on wood and steel, 70 x 66 x 5 cm Tomislav Nikolic, 2: lies come hard in disguise, 2018 - 2019 acrylic polymer, marble dust, 22.5ct champagne gold leaf, bronze, on wood and steel, 70 x 66 x 5 cm Tomislav Nikolic, 3: lies come hard in disguise, 2018 - 2019 acrylic polymer, marble dust, 22ct moon gold leaf, bronze, on wood and steel, 70 x 66 x 5 cm Tomislav Nikolic, 4: lies come hard in disguise, 2018 - 2019 acrylic polymer, marble dust, 16.9ct lemon gold leaf, bronze, on wood and steel, 70 x 66 x 5 cm Tomislav Nikolic, 4: lies come hard in disguise, (detail) 2018 - 2019 acrylic polymer, marble dust, 16.9ct lemon gold leaf, bronze, on wood and steel 70 x 66 x 5 cm Tomislav Nikolic, 5: lies come hard in disguise, 2018 - 2019 acrylic polymer, marble dust, 20ct citron gold leaf, bronze, on wood and steel, 70 x 66 x 5 cm Tomislav Nikolic, 7: lies come hard in disguise, 2018 - 2019 acrylic polymer, marble dust, 24ct gold leaf, bronze, on wood and steel, 70 x 66 x 5 cm Tomislav Nikolic, 6: lies come hard in disguise, 2018 - 2019 acrylic polymer, marble dust, 22ct gold leaf, bronze, on wood and steel, 70 x 66 x 5 cm Tomislav Nikolic, 6: lies come hard in disguise, (detail) 2018 - 2019 acrylic polymer, marble dust, 22ct gold leaf, bronze, on wood and steel, 70 x 66 x 5 cm

'pay the prophets to justify your reasons' is a more typical Nikolic production, with thick ornate coloured frames, museum glass placed over the delicately coloured panels, and slivers of unanticipated colour peeking out from deep metal-leafed troughs or reflected off the holding wall (and not seen directly). The seven ‘austere' units make up in total a single artwork, with the position of each within the sequence being carefully determined. At each end the ‘bracketing' outer painting is less long than the other five in the middle.

Auckland

 

Tomislav Nikolic
pay the prophets to justify your reasons

 

15 August - 14 September 2019

Tomislav Nikolic here presents two suites of paintings, positioned on opposite sides of the main rectangular room-on the long walls.
pay the prophets to justify your reason and lies come hard in disguise both are in sets of seven units, but very different in the nature of their framing, proportion, materials and methods of paint application. And organisational principles.

pay the prophets to justify your reason is a more typical Nikolic production, with thick ornate coloured frames, museum glass placed over the delicately coloured panels, and slivers of unanticipated colour peeking out from deep metal-leafed troughs or reflected off the holding wall (and not seen directly). The seven ‘austere’ units make up in total a single artwork, with the position of each within the sequence being carefully determined. At each end the ‘bracketing’ outer painting is less long than the other five in the middle.

lies come hard in disguise presents (almost) square wooden panels in steel trays, held by brackets and devoid of sculptural ornamentation. The paint application is particularly thin and feathery; pale mottled veils applied in diminishing concentric sequencing, while the seven horizontally oblong images here are all discrete artworks: seven separate units that are carefully lined up. The spare (very straight) linear frames and jutting in support-brackets are conspicuously obvious.

These lies come hard in disguise works have a cold wintery feel, a cool detached tremulous quality with their diluted but strong colour, whereas the more sculptural pay the prophets to justify your reason are hotter and more physical, emphasising their compressed energies as portable objects. The muscularity of their comparatively extravagant frames—and their intense saturation—carve deep holes in the wall’s space, while also placing ripples in the aether with their thick advancing borders.

Slowly the viewer’s eye moves along the wall, tracking the pleasures of each consecutive rectangle, while overall being bodily ‘pummelled’ by the parallel horizontal lines from opposite sides. The two contrasting formats here interact in an extremely satisfying manner. Impeccably controlled installations like this, genuinely sensitive to the physical properties of colour and its material support—their impact on architectural space—are rare.

John Hurrell

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