Nigel Cox – Oblivious

Presented by Coates and Scarry, at Gallery 8, Duke Street, London
Preview Wednesday 12 November 2014
Nigel Cox’s minimalistic oil paintings capture an extraordinary realism, and comment on people’s disassociation from the outer world by their immersion in routine. 
The artist’s love of large open spaces and lack of clutter is obvious as is his fascination by detail.  He’s coined the phrase Photorealistic Minimalism to describe his work. His paintings provide the viewer with a glimpse beyond the clutter of everyday life, conjuring up notions of escape and peace, offering sanctuary from the frenetic world outside. 
Oblivious references the subjects and our own frequent obliviousness to the world around us. 
Cox often paints his figures from a viewpoint where no face is visible and portrays them against a vague, vast, empty landscape. A deliberate move, designed to focus the full attention on the figure. The figures are solitary, confident and calm. They have an inner peace and strength and are at one with their surroundings. The paintings reflect solitude, tranquillity and confidence, giving every day scenes an unexpected and surreal feeling while keeping them solidly within the real world.
Cox paints primarily in oil on linen, building up thin layers of precise paint, developing depth and detail, and bringing an important warmth to the work. The resulting paintings are smooth to the touch and glow with a subtle inner light and life.
The artist says of one seminal moment in the development of his work:
“While travelling through Liverpool Street Station on a sunny day in 2004 I noticed a girl sitting on a seat in the concourse reading a book. I sat down on the floor against a pillar and photographed her, amazed that no one else noticed how wonderful she looked. For her, the Station no longer existed. She was immersed in her book and was oblivious to everything around her. She had, unwittingly, removed herself from this place, transporting herself elsewhere. I was captivated by how special people can be when removed from the crowd and how wonderful it is to observe them, alone, in this state.”
The show also introduces a new element in Cox’s work. He has begun developing the backgrounds, introducing vague, grey fog so prevalent in his early work, to show scenes of modern political turmoil – soldiers, military helicopters emphasizing our common obliviousness to the modern world around us despite being more connected than ever through the internet and social media. 
Curators Coates and Scarry and Cox will host a charity private view to benefit the Terrence Higgins Trust on Thursday 20 November at the Gallery from 1800 until 2100.  A limited edition of two specially selected prints will be released on the night, with all proceeds going to the Trust.
Oblivious – Open from Wednesday 12 November 2014 until Saturday 22nd November 2014, 1100 until 1900 everyday,  at Gallery 8, 8 Duke Street, St James’s, London SW1Y 6BN. 
Viewing also by private appointment – please call Richard Scarry on 07540 793 264.
Duration 12 November 2014 - 22 November 2014
Cost Free
Venue Gallery 8
Address 8 Duke Street London SW1Y 6BN, ,
Contact 078555 26 550 / /

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