Contemporary realist painter George Nick is highly regarded by his peers, by students who encountered him in his 25 years of teaching at Massachusetts College of Art, where he is now Professor Emeritus, by literary luminaries like John Updike, who wrote an essay In Praise of George Nick, and by major museums, including the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Hirschorn Museum, the Corcoran Gallery of Art and the Smithsonian American Art Museum, which have his works in their collections.
Nick applies brusque, textural brushwork to an unapologetically direct depiction of his subjects, whether architectural aspects of Boston, rural landscapes, Venetian canals, simple room interiors or unstintingly honest portraits and self portraits.
I think reviewer John Goodrich gets what I like most about Nick’s work when he describes a “…spirited approach — call it an Impressionist’s love of light, delivered with Expressionistic panache…“.
Nick has a fascination with geometric patterns in both the forms of his subjects and in the areas of light and shadow within and around them, and his energetic application of paint brings that forward in addition to adding its own dimension of textural visual pleasure.
He can be in turns more or less refined, seeming over the course of his career to be experimenting, restless but always observant. He likes to work onsite, even with large canvasses, and conveys that plein air immediacy in his interiors as well as his landscapes and cityscapes.
Nick is represented in Boston by Gallery Naga. There are a few other sources for his work online, mostly articles, some illustrated with his work, including a six part interview on Painting Perceptions. There is also an informative essay by Nick’s former student Christopher Chippendale, Enroute with George Nick.
The largest reproductions of his canvasses I’ve found are the two in the Smithsonian American Art Museum.
The most extensive collection of his work online, however, is a terrific site at GeorgeNick.com. This is an unofficial site assembled and maintained out of respect and admiration by one of Nick’s former students, Larry Groff.
[Via Mike Manley]