Nicolas Africano

Excerpt from New York Times, “Review/Art; Nicolas Africano Explores the Melding of Innocence and Experience”, By MICHAEL BRENSON, May 3, 1991

 

“Bit by bit, Nicolas Africano has been expanding the formal and narrative base that built his reputation in the 1970's. In the 80's, his highly theatrical pictorial psychodramas, with little people caught in various crises in nondescript spaces, became more general and less overtly personal. And his people began to grow and step out of the paintings into actual space as sculptures. In his current show at the Holly Solomon Gallery, one sculpture is life-size and three paintings reach from the ceiling to the floor. The privacy and wistfulness remain.

 

"Mr. Africano is trying to make art with a very particular edge. ''I am poised, still, at a threshold," at "that moment between innocence and experience," he wrote in a journal entry cited in an article on him by Lisa Lyons of the Lannan Foundation in Los Angeles.

 

"The conflict between innocence and experience has been one of the great modern themes. What distinguishes Mr. Africano, who is 43 years old and lives in Illinois, is that he is obsessed not with the conflict between innocence and experience -- nor with the current pressure to discard the idea of innocence completely -- but rather with that point at which it is hard, if not impossible, to tell the difference between them.”

 

Africano is included in the public collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; DeYoung Museum, San Francisco, among others.