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Teaching Gallery at Hudson Valley Community College to Show Paintings by Tom Nicol

CONTACT: Deborah Renfrew (518) 629-7180,
FOR RELEASE: Immediate, Monday, Aug. 31, 2015

Detail: Decoy, Acrylic on paper, 2014. 13 x 21
Detail: Decoy, Acrylic on paper, 2014. 13 x 21"
Detail: Chora, 2015. Acrylic on paper. 13 x 21" Detail: Chora, 2015. Acrylic on paper. 13 x 21"

The Teaching Gallery at Hudson Valley Community College announces With Which – an exhibition of paintings and works on paper by Mellenville artist Tom Nicol on view Thursday, Sept. 17 - Saturday, Oct. 24, 2015.

Nicol will discuss his work on Thursday, Sept. 17 from 3 to 4 p.m. in the Bulmer Telecommunications Center Auditorium, followed by a reception from 4 to 6 p.m. in the Teaching Gallery. Both events are free and open to the public.

Tom Nicol's enigmatic works can most simply be described as 'paintings of tape.' However, Nicol's approach to these nearly trompe l'oeil works is a deeply contemplative exploration into what it means to make a painting. Each work, in its arrangement of marks, components and color choices is the product of Nicol's investigation that plays words; the subtleties and nuances of their meaning, against each other.

Is it a painting or a picture? A fact or a dream? Is there a difference between an image and a solid, tactile presence? Nicol uses the act of painting to sort through the facts of experience while citing newly found facts and new experiences.

The visual minimalism of Nicol's colored lines, felt in the white fields and unpainted paper cut across and into by the straight lines and blocks of color, belies the complexity excavated from layers of words and meanings. Nicol's comments about the exhibition title are informative: "With, which,.....these are function words....maybe they are like doors and windows in a house in the sense that they are used for their emptiness. That's the feeling I'm after for a painting to feel somehow complete or viable." The expansive voids of Nicol's paintings do indeed function as doors or windows. Their emptiness works both in opposition to and accordance with the deliberate ‘marks' of Nicol's tape stripes and blocks, underscoring the weight of their presence and the small but important differences of scale or color rendition. Like a window or door, Nicol's paintings quietly assert their presence. We notice them as much by feeling the breeze or beholding the view.

Born in 1969 in Ohio, Nicol received a BA in 1992 from Bluffton College. In 2008, he moved from Queens to Mellenville in Columbia County where he continues to live and work. His work has been shown in four solo exhibitions at John Davis Gallery, Hudson, most recently in 2013. Other exhibitions include the Toledo Museum, LABspace in Hillsdale, and Ventana24 in Brooklyn.

Gallery Hours:
The Teaching Gallery is open Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.; Wednesday 1 - 7 p.m.; Saturday noon – 4 p.m.; closed Sunday and Monday. For directions and more information, go to

Teaching Gallery exhibitions are supported by the Department of Fine Arts, Theatre Arts and Broadcast Communications with assistance from the Office of Cultural Affairs. All exhibitions are installed and assisted by students in Gallery Management classes. The Teaching Gallery is located on the ground floor of the award-winning Administration Building.