Taymour Grahne Projects is pleased to present Auto Body, a solo show by New York based artist Nick Hoover opening on Feb 26. from 4 - 7 pm at The Artist Room (52 Lonsdale Road) as part of a joint opening across our 3 spaces.
Auto Body is Hoover’s first London solo and his second exhibition with the gallery. In this latest body of work, paintings are influenced by the analogous feelings of “self” and “body” and how disparate they can be at times. Hoover builds upon ideas explored in his previous exhibition Burning Red Sky; intensifying his focus and introducing new explorations of bold colour. There is an investigation into the queer gaze and in particular homosexual male desire. Look at any established museum collection and the predominant inclination represented is that of the male’s desire for the female (often at the expense of the female). The nude man is rarely depicted and his desire is infrequently realised by revealing himself or accepting vulnerability.
The paintings feature an ensemble of deep pinks and acidic reds - giving the sense of early morning or late night, when the energy and mood of the day changes. Derek Jarman said of the colour red “[It] protects itself. No colour is as territorial. It stakes a claim - is on the alert against the spectrum”. This is precisely why the colour is often associated with passion, it is demanding and at times overpowering. Much like pink, which in the Victorian times was allied as the most masculine colour due to its striking visuality. Hoover employs references of the past to explore contemporary interactions. The introspective nature of the work delves into eroticization, fantasy and longing within certain gestures of new gay semiotics.
It is semiotics that provides discourse on visual codes and how meaning is created. Socks are not worn out of necessity on Hoover’s autobiographical characters, but as a statement and preamble to sexual performativity. There is a public aspect to wearing the socks, a display or a form of invitation. When the socks have been dispensed with, a line is drawn and a more private and intimately charged space is entered. When the foot is left out of the frame altogether, more tender moments occur, and also the introduction of maternally evocative stances. Here one finds a disruption and complication to how homosexual desire and the body is represented.
The private domestic spaces speak to a familiarity, and the idealised landscapes more abstract in nature. Sometimes both states exist on the same canvas through the implementation of painted windows. Even when homely interiors are pictured, complex considerations of colour and light recontextualise how these spaces are experienced.
Nick Hoover, B. 1991, Colorado Springs. Lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. He graduated with a BA, Film and writing (2014) at New York University. Hoover had an online show entitled 'Burning Red Sky' with Taymour Grahne Projects (2021) and an online show entitled 'Double Gaze' with Andrea Festa Fine Art in (2021). Nick Hoover opens his first solo show with Taymour Grahne Projects in February (2022).