Nicolas Party
Karma, New York 2017
184 pages, hardcover
11 14 × 9 34 inches
Edition of 1,500

This is the first substantial overview of Nicolas Party’s works in soft pastel from 2014 through 2017. Internationally renowned for his use of the fugitive and highly delicate medium of soft pastel, Party’s works are compelling meditations on color, composition, and the multifarious applications of what is, essentially, colored dust. These are non-narrative, non-Surrealist, non-Symbolist pictures. Flesh glows deep red; Shadows may fall in multiple and contradictory directions; identical fruits may flatten or fatten on a single plain; horizons may terminate with a hard line of color or a slow fade. Each painting is the sum of Party’s active and improvisational approach: he builds, reduces, and scrapes at his surfaces until the composition achieves an organic whole. The optical effect of this physical activity is at once solid and fleeting. One has the worrisome sense that no matter how stable these complex and color-drenched arrangements of objects and things may appear, they could literally be blown away at any moment.