Nick Maurer

“The landscape disturbs me in my thinking. It is beautiful, and therefore demands attention.”

-Franz Kafka

At the moment I am interested in palimpsests: (1) a manuscript or piece of writing material on which the original writing has been effaced to make room for later writing but of which traces remain. (2) something reused or altered but still bearing visible traces of its earlier form.

In my recent work, I paint gestural forms and then strip them back with a striping gel. Traces of this first painting remain. This narrative element interests me, the story behind the story, the circuity of history. I sketch in quasi-grids with pencil, structures like asymmetrical courses of brick or cinderblock on a wall. I reference art-historical landscape compositions and my own photos of landscapes in the next painting. Landscapes interest me because they have been the least-esteemed genre in painting. In light of human-caused climate change and other harmful ecological practices of the Anthropocene, this phenomenon warrants further investigation. I abstract forms and colors from the first painting and the source painting, mining the muted valences that exist between then and there and here and now, working with the tensions created by outlines/screens/overviews and walls/obstructions, the tensions between materiality and ephemerality, reality and imagination.

Nick Maurer is a visual artist and writer who lives in Costa Mesa, CA. He received an MFA from UC Irvine.