Un­earthing Beauty

American Art Collector - - Contents -

Of­ten­times there is as a place or ob­ject that be­comes a con­stant muse for an artist and it ap­pears in their work re­peat­edly. Ni­cholas Evans-Cato’s play­ground is Brook­lyn, New York—a lo­ca­tion where he is cap­ti­vated by the iconic bridge and the bird’s-eye views around the city. How­ever, it isn’t just Brook­lyn that has con­tin­ued to draw in Evans-Cato, but also spe­cific weather con­di­tions that af­fect the at­mos­phere.

In par­tic­u­lar, Evans-Cato paints fog and snow, which al­lows the edges of man-made struc­tures to fade into the dis­tance. The artist also paints on lo­ca­tion, so he waits for just the right con­di­tions to bring out his can­vas. “[T]here is a lot of planning ahead in my work be­cause I work out­side on site,” he elab­o­rates. “I tend to not know ex­actly which paint­ing I’m work­ing on un­til I know what the weather is go­ing to be like.”

From May 15 to June 9, Evans-Cato will present a col­lec­tion of New York City scenes in a new show at Ge­orge Bil­lis Gallery. The works will high­light some of the most well-known struc­tures as well as lesser-known sites.

One of the most rec­og­nized land­marks that Evans-Cato paints is the Brook­lyn Bridge, which he has cap­tured in var­i­ous sea­sons, at­mos­phere and per­spec­tives. Two ex­am­ples are Bron­tosaurus and Lat­tice, which were painted from his friend’s rooftop. The dif­fer­ence be­tween the two is Bron­tosaurus is a more nar­row, panoramic view, while Lat­tice shows more of the sky with a low hori­zon line that is sim­i­lar to 17th-cen­tury Dutch land­scape paint­ings.

One of his around-town works is Key­board, which is a view look­ing out at a bus park­ing lot and re­pair yard right af­ter a snow­storm. “There was some­thing quite won­der­ful, I thought, about the re­sem­blance be­tween the buses and a pi­ano,” he shares. In an­other scene, The Edge, the fog is the cen­tral com­po­nent, as the city in the back­ground seems to drift in and out of fo­cus.

“I guess the way I think about [my work] is, if I re­turn to a spot re­peat­edly, it’s be­cause there is some­thing I feel I still haven’t cap­tured yet,” Evans-Cato re­marks. “I’ve al­ways had a feel­ing that an artist doesn’t need fresh places, but rather fresh eyes.”

Ge­orge Bil­lis Gallery

525 W. 26th Street, Ground Floor • New York, NY 10001 (212) 645-2621 •­bil­


Bron­tosaurus, oil on linen, 24 x 72"


Key­board, oil on can­vas, 24 x 44"

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