Three Figures, Oil on canvas, 34×26

Born in 1989, Nicholas Nes Knowlton began painting in 2005 after studying the Matisses in the Cone collection of his native Baltimore. After classes at The Maryland Institute College of Art he moved to Chicago for a contemporary art education at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, from which he graduated in 2013. After a pilgrimage to Italy Nicholas began a practice based on skirting dominant contemporary narratives and adhering to influences with sacred meaning, more likely to illustrate literature over theory. Using Byzantine and Mannerist approaches, as well as stealing liberally from Blake, Rossetti, Balthus and Giotto, Nicholas takes the ambiguous position of painting sacred subjects from a secular aesthetic standpoint. This paradox underlines the existence of painting as its own visual language; operating on its own terms, outside of any one persona.

Represented by Claire Molek.