Loretta Howard Gallery is pleased to present What Matters by Nicolas Carone. Seven paintings and four works on paper offer a compelling cross section of the artist’s late period. The linear mark making that fill his paintings evokes the immediacy of a drawing. Similarly, his works on paper maintain a tonal, painterly quality and illustrate the artist’s lifelong commitment to both mediums. Filled with deep washes of grey, white and black, each canvas is punctuated with loose skeins of paint and linear brushwork that suggest the contours of the figure.
The sweeping cadence, and stark pallet recall the 1940s abstractions of Carone’s longtime friend Willem de Kooning. Just as prominent, however, is the gestural force of the human body. This delicate balance between figuration and abstraction was a key point of experimentation throughout the artist’s six-decade career. Though Carone is best known for his involvement with New York Abstract Expressionism, throughout the 1960s and 1970s the figure became central to his practice.
In his late works, the reference to the human form is latent. One glimpses the curved suggestion of an arm or leg as if out of the corner of an eye. The graceful force of these movements is easily felt as they play out across the dense, persistent rhythms of Carone’s abstracted line.
Nicolas Carone’s work is featured in a number of public collections including the Baltimore Museum of Art, High Museum of Art; Atlanta, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden; Washington, DC, The Metropolitan Museum of Art; New York, Norton Museum of Art; Palm Beach. Sheldon Museum of Art; University of Nebraska, Smithsonian American Art Museum; Washington, DC, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum; New York, Tate Modern; London, Walker Art Center; Minneapolis, Weatherspoon Museum of Art; Greensboro, and Whitney Museum of American Art; New York.
An exhibition catalog with an essay by Barbara Rose and the artist’s biographer Frank Messina is forthcoming.