Nicole Chesney: Albedo
May 6 – Jun 4, 2022 at Gallery NAGA
Gallery NAGA is pleased to present our third major solo exhibition of paintings by Nicole Chesney.
Nicole Chesney: Albedo is on exhibition from May 6 to June 4. A reception for the artist and the public will be held at the gallery on Friday, May 6, from 5 to 7 pm.
Albedo (Latin, noun) meaning reflective power. Specifically, the fraction of incident radiation (such as light) that is reflected by a surface or body.
Glass, with all its transformative qualities, is a surface onto which Nicole Chesney can add, subtract, and move oil paint around; colors are reflected in a way that canvas or paper doesn’t allow for. Seen from one angle, her painting surfaces are matte and brushy, seen from another angle, they are reflective and elusive.
Chesney is a student of color, always within reach in her studio are Werner’s Nomenclature of Colours, The National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Weather and The National Audubon Society Field Guide to the Night Sky. Darwin used Abraham Werner’s book to describe his discoveries and color observations on HMS Beagle voyage, which included the Galapagos Archipelago. Chesney is also on a journey, her discoveries about color in her paintings. Each of her works is like a new look at a familiar animal. A deliberate nod to the influence of Werner is made in the titles of Verditer and Verditer Green. Werner’s spelling is actually “verditter,” while Chesney has opted for the more contemporary spelling. These two paintings are also Chesney’s first explorations of green mirrors.
Werner was a mineralogist and geologist. Early in his career, he published the first textbook on descriptive mineralogy. Having started as a jeweler’s apprentice, Chesney feels the allure of rare and precious gems. Each Chesney painting speaks of color, but also about substance: Mother of Pearl in the reflective whites, seafoam in the blues, and reflective metals in the dark tones. Chesney’s paintings create a meditative repose on color and space where the viewer may rest from the other hopes and desires clamoring for attention in our current tumultuous world.
Chesney’s work is exhibited and collected internationally including the permanent collections of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, New Britain Museum of American Art, Toledo Museum of Art, Newport Art Museum, RISD Museum, Palm Springs Art Museum, Corning Museum of Glass and many more.