It’s already May and Backwoods Gallery has hosted a handful of local and globe trotting artists, from the darkly ambient drawings of Kes Acorn to the intricate sculptures of Stephen Ives. And for all of its high-grade exhibitions, the gallery has never slept on its variety within the rotating space. For every 2-week display, Backwoods provides the conceptually minimal, along with the vastly intricate, providing art fans multiple reasons to return on a regular basis. The beginning of the 5th, explores the work of travelling Frenchman Nelio, as he displays a new body of work scattered with signature Western European elegance. The Backwoods space has been covered with pieces that range from the obscurely small to the traditionally large, showcasing the distance in diversity within his craft. Nelio has not only given us a trademark collection of pieces to oggle over, but he has also further established himself as a calculated painter with universal appeal.
Back and Forth is a fitting title for this adventurous show for a number of reasons, the artists consistent travel log, the battle of creating art and the struggle between old & new. My first impressions of this show came from its design heavy, circuit board-like landscapes spread across flat analogue canvases that connect from each panel the next. Some of these are grouped together via parallel visuals, while others sat in their own space with unavoidable charm. Collectively, it’s a brilliant exhibition and one that could appeal to a number of art, design and constructive fans, due to its accessibility and application.
While I think Back and Forth may be interpreted a number of ways, it’s the dialect between old and new that stayed with me, once going through these images again. I’ve used many words to describe this show already, but the combination of hand painted works featuring electronic scenery combines an analogue vs. digital dialogue, a constant struggle in the arts landscape. Obviously Nelio isn’t trying define (or even attack) the art world with this show, but the instability within each piece, an unlikely ally within such conceptual work, displays a strength in vision. That’s the real beauty in Back and Forth, a uniquely hybrid of tradition techniques being applied for advanced results, as it references the old to bring in the new.
Bravo to Nelio for this fantastic show, I heard it was all put together in under 3 weeks, which is a feat within itself. If you would like to check out the show for your, head over to Backwoods Gallery before May 10, this Sunday, you won’t be disappointed.