Nellie King Solomon makes beautiful pictures of terrible things. California is a place where we are caught off guard, a place of gambling, chance, and change. She paints it. She often violate the rules of what she has last made. Using unconventional materials and process to generate narratives in the code of abstractions. Solomon makes “painting that interrogate painting”. Her large-scale juicy color field abstractions have received excellent critical acclaim.
Nellie King Solomon holds an MFA from California College of the Arts and studied architecture at The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art in New York City. She graduated with a BA in Art from University of California Santa Cruz. She has taught painting at Stanford University and drawing to both Art and Industrial Designer Majors at California College of the Arts. She was the Founder/Creative Director of the Young Artist in Residence (YAR) summer program at Montalvo Arts Center. She worked in Architectural Restoration in Venice on the Palazzo St Polo. She is a surfer and ex-ballet dancer with the San Francisco Ballet.
Her work has been featured in Art in America, Huffington Post, the San Francisco Chronicle, Art Week, Art Practical, Wallpaper Magazine, Artdaily, ArtSlant, Harvard Review, ArtBlitzLA, BelleSF, TheMomsProject, Zyzzyva, San Francisco Examiner, Sacramento Bee, San Jose Mercury News, NYTheatre, and Architectural Digest, among other publications. Solomon has exhibited at OchiProjectsLA, LA, Ochi Gallery, Sun Valley; Brian Gross Fine Art, and The Battery, San Francisco; MMFA, Palm Springs; Chicago, Detroit, and Miami branches of N’Namdi Gallery; the Crocker Art Museum, in Sacramento; and New York. Her work ha been collected by The Berkeley Art Museum.
After many years living in New York, Europe, and traveling extensively, Solomon, a third generation San Francisco native, returned to where she came from to paint.
Beauty falls from the sky
and can’t quite be caught
before it clobbers itself.
I make the space in between things visible. I paint what I know is there but cannot see. The paintings are spaces where energy moves matter. Events double back to devour themselves, momentum overtakes strategy, tectonic plates meet and collide. The paintings reflect my experience of great western landscapes, interior and exterior terrains, the shock of unabsorbed events. Land marred and poisoned is disarmingly beautiful and dramatic in its tragedy. California is a place where we are caught off guard, a place of gambling, chance, and change. I paint it.
Concepts and titles come from; matchbook covers, pigment piles, polotics, traffic jams, volatile economies, ecological disasters, and lost loves. Titeles: Trip ‘n Fall Again, Prussian Blue, Unintended Consequences, Blindsided, Treasure Island West Bound, Monster, Smokey, Bandit, Blindsided, Unbecoming, Lie to me Please.
I experiment with materials; this material investigation is physical, historical, and conceptual. Color becomes a character.
Works on canvas allow the concrete historical physicality to be up ended by the unconventional demonstrations of materials. Pools of gesso exposed, frozen paint cubes stand square, historical pigment is revealed, I bear it naked to view.
Works on Mylar allows color to flow or pool without the scaled imprint of hand or brush. Custom made glass tools and wood leave liquid marks as evidence of something having happened there. Empty space allow motion. The slick paint resembles oil spills and hot toxic color fields: beautiful pictures of terrible things. The translucent surface of the Mylar allows the edges to disappear into the wall and light to penetrate through clear pools of medium. The paintings subvert architecture, each pour and oval tears a hole through the wall.
Nellie King Solomon 2017