Vacillating between messiness and the tight corners of narrative, Tim Nickodemus’ paintings attempt to emulate the nuanced, often unconscious movements of performed exchange. An intensely sensitive and empathetic communicator, Tim absorbs relationships, compressing elements into the gloppy moments, deadpan flatness and sinuousness that characterize his work. The paintings and drawings of Megatheria draw on both a series of deteriorating frescoes by Jacopo Pontormo in Certosa di Galluzzo, a Carthusean monastery south of Florence, and an encounter at Chicago’s Field Museum with the skeleton of one of the largest mammals to ever to walk the earth, a species of elephant-sized prehistoric sloth known as megatherium. While seemingly disparate source material, these references summon an arch through time that allows an off kilter sense of entropy and convergence through gestural markers of age, texture and scale.
The exhibition will be accompanied by a two part publication. The first, a small book resembling the size of the notebook that the artist carried in his breast pocket around Italy, will act as a field guide providing an alternative mode for navigating the works in the gallery. This small issue will later find a place within a larger volume containing documentation and reflection from participants on the ideas and discourses that emerge over the course of the exhibition.
Tim Nickodemus (b. 1980, Mt. Angel, OR) lives and works in Chicago. He received his BA from Portland State University in 2006 and his MFA at University of Illinois at Chicago in 2011. His work has been included in group exhibitions in Portland, Seattle, Olympia, Iowa City, and Chicago. Nickodemus was a resident artist in 2008 at the Minnesota Art Shanty Projects. He is a teaching artist at Marwen, Chicago Public Schools and the Museum of Contemporary Art. In the fall of 2012, he will teach in the painting department at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He concurrently has work at D Gallery in Chicago. He also plays the drums.