Thomas Nozkowski, Untitled (L-53) (detail), 2016, oil on paper, 22" × 30" (55.9 cm × 76.2 cm) © Thomas Nozkowski

Thomas Nozkowski

Complementing Pace’s in-person exhibition of 15 paintings created by Thomas Nozkowski in the last years of his life, this immersive online presentation spotlights six of the artist’s lively works on paper. Rendered late in the artist’s career, the abstractions on view in this showing exemplify Nozkowski’s freewheeling explorations of color and form that were often informed by his daily experiences and observations.
Thomas Nozkowski, Untitled (L-53), 2016, oil on paper, 22" × 30" (55.9 cm × 76.2 cm)
Thomas Nozkowski, Untitled (L - 60), 2016, oil paint on paper, 22" × 30" (55.9 cm × 76.2 cm)
This presentation also highlights a less widely known aspect of Nozkowski’s life and practice: his eclectic music taste and robust CD collection. To shed light on the artist’s process and some of his inspirations, an accompanying playlist features songs that he listened to while painting. This musical component—which includes offerings by Freddie King, Chuck Berry, The Premiers, Heather Myles, and others—transports viewers into Nozkowski’s sound-filled studio.
“My father's studio has an echo, and what I remember echoing out of there the most was music. Soul music. Country. Blues. R&B. Jazz. He painted with a soundtrack—prolific and open to all forms, but rigorously selected. Enormous CD shelves alphabetized and easy to pull from and an ever-modulating sequence of about a dozen that constituted a ‘current’ rotation … There are so many songs bouncing off the walls in my memory of his warm, inviting studio. And if there was anything he liked more than listening to music while he painted, it was sharing a song he loved with friends, other artists, anyone.”

Casimir Nozkowski, Thomas Nozkowski's Son

Thomas Nozkowski, Untitled (YP-40), 2012, gouache and graphite on paper, 8-1/2" x 11" (21.6 cm x 27.9 cm)
Thomas Nozkowski, Untitled (CP-10), 2013, graphite, colored pencil and gouache on paper, 8-1/2" × 11" (21.6 cm × 27.9 cm)
Speaking with the critic John Yau about spontaneity in the studio, Nozkowski once said, “Improvisation … is essential to my work. I want my ideas to be located at the tip of my brush. I want my materials to talk back to me. I want to be surprised.”
Thomas Nozkowski, Untitled (L-37), 2014, oil on paper, 22" x 30" (55.9 cm x 76.2 cm)
Thomas Nozkowski, Untitled (N-87), 2013, ink, graphite, and colored pencil on paper, 8-7/8" x 10-7/8" (22.5 cm x 27.6 cm)
  • Past, Thomas Nozkowski, Sep 9, 2021