After holding his first-ever Los Angeles solo exhibition at Hauser & Wirth back in February, New York-based Swiss artist Nicolas Party returns to the gallery for an online show called “Canopy.” In contrast to the paintings and sculptures that reference nature’s darker regions in “Sottobosco,” the latest works look upward to a lighter and airier natural space — the canopy of treetops.
“Canopy” includes 11 atmospheric landscapes created by Party while quarantining in upstate New York. Their fluid and animate qualities invite viewers to consider the relevance of landscape painting in a contemporary context. “Throughout history, trees have been present in so many stories, legends, and religions,” Party explains. “They are one of the most important elements in human culture. Today, they are also one of the primary reminders of our fears and anxieties for the future. How many trees are being painted today? And how many trees are burning?”
Rich in color and abstract in form, the works reference the landscapes of Georgia O’Keeffe, William Turner and Charles Burchfield. Party recalls his early experiences in the outdoors as they relate to the dreamy, expansive effects of the new watercolors he uses for his “Canopy” works. “The infinite flexibility of the visual language of the tree makes its execution endlessly playful,” he says.
Take a closer look at select works from “Canopy” in the gallery above. The online exhibition will launch on Hauser & Wirth’s website beginning May 7.