On August 15th, New York welcomed a new gallery, Haven Gallery, with their inaugural exhibition inspired by the idea of safe havens. Their first group of artists have wide ranging styles, many sharing whimsical qualities: Matt Dangler, Kukula (HF Vol. 7), Kari-lise Alexander, Nicomi Nix Turner, Dan Quintana (HF Vol. 27), Shaun Berke, Tom Bagshaw, Naoto Hattori (HF Vol. 7), Zoe Byland, Brian Mashburn, Regan Rosburg, Aunia Kahn, Caitlin McCormack, Rose Freymuth-Frazier, Redd Walitzki, and Nom Kinnear King. Their subjects span still life, landscapes, and figurative works, suggesting that refuge can be found both in the physical as well as within oneself.
On April 24, Paradigm Gallery + Studio in Philadelphia will debut two solo shows that explore humans’ connection to nature: Nicomi Nix Turner’s “No God for a Wanderer” and Sarah Louise Davey’s “The Garden of No Distant Place.” While Davey works in clay and Turner, in pencil, the two artists share a common interest in feminine, nymph-like characters that seem to belong in the wild.
Though Nicomi Nix Turner’s subtle graphite work resembles an intricate examination of the natural world, one would be surprised to learn that the artist uses absolutely no reference material. The skinny, springy mushrooms and horned beetles that often appear in her drawings are not modeled after a particular species. Instead, Turner enjoys playing god, in a way, and seeing what an ecosystem of her own creation would look like. People often tell her the human characters in her work resemble someone they know, said the artist, but perhaps the beauty of their faces is that they can evoke different memories for each viewer.
The evocatively titled Above Prophecy and Grace is a recent work by Oakland-based illustrator Nicomi Nix Turner (previously seen here and here) that demonstrates a continued interest in depicting figures who are fully immersed in the natural world, and as part of that, in a continuous cycle of birth and decay. The subject is an intense-looking woman who is completely at one with nature. Her head is sprouting fungus, flowers, and beetles in a kind of living headdress; dead leaves fall from her temple, and from out of a cut in her cheek, mushrooms are blooming. Along with insects, animals and contemplative female figures, fungus, skulls, and ominous titles are recurring themes across Turner’s mostly black-and-white graphite illustrations, which both celebrate nature and acknowledge its darker side.
We frequently do “Behind the Scenes” themed articles here on the Hi-Fructose site. Often times we ask our favorite artists to document the creation of one of their works in a step by step format, allowing us an intimate look at the beginnings and end of the processes involved. Typically, we will approach an artist before they begin, however, for Berkeley-based illustrator Nicomi Nix Turner (last seen here), the spontaneous collaborative effort of her feline companion, and the subsequent destruction of a nearly completed work has arisen the opportunity for Nicomi to restart, and for us to tag along. Get a look at Nicomi, her latest piece and her harshest critic, Luna, here on Hi-Fructose.
Oakland based illustrator Nicomi Nix Turner recently sent Hi-Fructose an exclusive preview of her upcoming solo show over at Modern Eden Gallery in San Francisco. Judging by the preview images, “Nocturnal” looks to be a captivating and intricate showing by the natural alchemist… Modern Eden, a beautiful new gallery that’s been on our radar since it’s opening this past June, looks to be developing quite the roster, look to Hi-Fructose for future coverage of this exciting new space and upcoming schedule.