Installation view of Everything in the World by Thomas Nozkowski

Thomas Nozkowski

Everything in the World

Mar 8 – Apr 20, 2024
New York

Thomas Nozkowski
Everything in the World
Mar 8 – Apr 20, 2024


540 West 25th Street
New York


Press Release


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Above: Installation view, Thomas Nozkowski: Everything in the World, Mar 8 – Apr 20, 2024, Pace Gallery, New York © Estate of Thomas Nozkowski
Pace is pleased to present an exhibition of works by Thomas Nozkowski at its 540 West 25th Street gallery in New York from March 8 to April 20.

Focusing on the artist’s practice during the 1970s and 1980s, this presentation, titled Thomas Nozkowski: Everything in the World, will include the artist’s signature, intimately scaled 16” x 20” canvas compositions alongside several large-scale paintings that have not been publicly exhibited in decades and three painted wood sculptures. The show will be accompanied by a new catalogue produced by Pace Publishing, featuring a new essay by Martin Clark, director of the Camden Art Centre in London.

Over more than four decades, Nozkowski developed a singular approach to painting that rejected established aesthetic conventions. The artist, who died in 2019 at age 75, is known for his richly colored and textured abstractions inspired by his memories, everyday experiences, and encounters in the landscapes surrounding his longtime home in upstate New York. In this way, he developed a distinctive visual language of forms, symbols, and notations grounded in his own reality while defying obvious legibility. Constellations of biomorphic and geometric abstractions become worlds unto themselves, which Nozkowski forged as part of a lengthy and exacting process.

Pace’s upcoming exhibition of his work centers on a hugely formative period of the artist’s career during which he set out specific aesthetic terms for his practice. The show’s title, Everything in the World, brings the relationship between Nozkowski’s abstractions and his daily observations to the fore. Anything and everything in his environment—an object, a surface, a quality of light—could capture his curiosity and attention, becoming the source material for a painting.

Breaking away from the aesthetics of Minimalism and Abstract Expressionism, the artist embarked on an intensely experimental journey, raising formal and conceptual questions about the expressive potential of abstraction that he would continue revisiting in the decades to come—and that would define his approach for the rest of his life. The 1970s and 1980s also saw major changes in Nozkowski’s personal life, including the birth of his son and the purchase of his first property in New York’s Hudson Valley—a place that would become an enduring inspiration for his work.

The artist made fewer than ten large-scale canvases in his life, and four of these rare works will be exhibited with more than 20 of his classic, small-scale paintings in Pace’s forthcoming show in New York. Three of Nozkowski’s idiosyncratic, conical, painted wood sculptures from 1979 will also figure in the presentation—these objects reflect his interest in the material presence and physicality of paint in its encounters with different surfaces. Together, these works speak to the exploratory ethos that guided Nozkowski over the course of two decades.


Thomas Nozkowski's Studio Playlist

This playlist is curated by Thomas Nozkowski, whose extensive music collection kept his spirits high and creativity flowing during the many solitary hours he spent working in his studio. Here, the artist's son Casimir shares more about the archive of playlists and CDs that brought his father so much inspiration and joy: 

"The advice my father used to give young artists involved reckoning with the countless hours spent alone in the studio—and having to be comfortable with that reality. Tom practiced what he preached, spending hours every single day working in his studio. But it wasn't a gloomy solitude. It was alive, made so by, among other things, a vast music library that my father loved arranging and sequencing. He made playlists (hundreds of them!), including ones that I'm still finding and that grant insight into his tastes and need for discovery. I'm happy to share a few of those songs here—transposed from his burned CDs to a streaming service—so you can make your own associations between the varied genres he listened to and loved."


Featured Works

Thomas Nozkowski, Untitled (2-58), 1977, oil on linen on panel, 16" × 20" (40.6 cm × 50.8 cm) 17" × 21" × 1-1/2" (43.2 cm × 53.3 cm × 3.8 cm), framed
Thomas Nozkowski, Untitled (2-62), 1977, oil on linen on panel, 16" × 20" (40.6 cm × 50.8 cm) 17" × 21" × 1-1/2" (43.2 cm × 53.3 cm × 3.8 cm), framed
Thomas Nozkowski, Untitled (LP-2), 1981, oil on linen on panel, 50-1/8" × 60-1/2" × 1-1/2" (127.3 cm × 153.7 cm × 3.8 cm) 51-5/8" × 62" × 2-1/2" (131.1 cm × 157.5 cm × 6.4 cm), framed
Thomas Nozkowski, Untitled (4-117), 1986, oil on canvas board, 16" × 20" (40.6 cm × 50.8 cm) 17" × 21" × 1-1/2" (43.2 cm × 53.3 cm × 3.8 cm), framed
Thomas Nozkowski, Untitled (8-79), c. 1990, oil on linen on panel, 16" × 20" (40.6 cm × 50.8 cm) 17" × 21" × 1-1/2" (43.2 cm × 53.3 cm × 3.8 cm), framed
Thomas Nozkowski, Untitled (LP-10), 1986, oil on linen on panel, 48" × 60" × 2" (121.9 cm × 152.4 cm × 5.1 cm) 49-1/2" × 61-1/2" × 2-1/2" (125.7 cm × 156.2 cm × 6.4 cm), framed

Installation Views


About the Artist

Arriving in New York after the first wave of Abstract Expressionism and during the rise of Pop Art and Minimalism, Thomas Nozkowski defied the dismissal of painting at the time, embracing the medium and dedicating himself to an inventive and focused body of work attuned to his subjective experience of the world. His prolific oeuvre reveals an ability to shift between various media, ranging from ballpoint pen and pencil to gouache and oils. Eschewing large-scale formats and resistant to established styles or recurrent motifs, Nozkowski developed a varied and influential artistic practice.

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