County: Pierce County
Nicholas Nyland is drawn to abstraction’s “dumbness.” He believes it is generous and capacious: able to absorb and then release a multitude of references including, in his case, Chinese scholar’s stones, Japanese gardens, early American decorative traditions, and 1970’s design. Nicholas has been exhibited at the Contemporary Art Center in Peoria, Illinois; Soil Gallery, Seattle; and at the Seattle Art Museum 35th anniversary exhibition. He received his education at the University of Washington and University of Pennsylvania.
Nicholas received 2010 GAP Award funding to invest in equipment to facilitate the artist’s exploration into creating ceramic works. Over the last few years he has found working in clay to be an increasingly important part of his practice. The directness of the medium, as well as the medium’s own complex history, has made it well suited to his investigation into abstraction. The purchase of a slab roller and an extruder allowed him to increase his capacity to build larger sculptural ceramics. Additionally, in 2013 he was nominated for The Greater Tacoma Community Foundation’s Foundation of Art Award.
As part of his Fellowship’s Meet the Artist requirements, Nicolas spoke about his work to a group at Gallery One in Ellensburg, Washington, a beautiful venue that offers exhibitions, music and film screenings, and artist studios in a renovated historic Victorian building. A large mural and recently-completed art by the lucky kids who attend classes at the gallery provided a lively backdrop to the slideshow of his recent work. He displayed his painted paper sculptures as well as a ceramic sculpture suspended on a chain.
Dog Love, glazed ceramic, 6.5"x12"x7", 2009.
Crucible, paper mache over wire, acrylic paint, metal foil, wire, tacks, wood rings, 22"x27", 2009.
Time Machine, painted cardboard, collaboration with Ellen Ito, 2008.