Continuing through October 12, 2013
Nicholas Sistler is known for miniscule paintings and prints of brilliantly hued worlds inhabited by impeccably rendered figures. Sistler’s last show in Chicago was noted for its startling content: Kinsey-inspired erotica taking place inside dusky interiors. In his current exhibition, that gritty subject matter is nowhere to be found. Instead, the artist commits his work fully to palette, form and composition.
The works in “Incognito” are flat, often pattern-like abstractions, though most retain suggestions of the source material they were drawn from. “Composition #12” brings to mind books lined up on a window sill, while “Composition #13” is almost illustrative in its invocation of a street corner with the back bumper of a departing truck and a cluster of thought-bubbles. Sistler’s narrative bent also appears in the novel way he has chosen to display these tiny gouaches. Dark grey walls are accented by square “cells,” small lightning bolts and thought-bubbles of blue painter's tape. Instead of creating tiny environments within these paintings, with this graphic yet minimal, site specific installation component, Sistler creates an environment for his paintings.