Boom, Bust, Repeat by Nick Peña

Art of the Week

Nick Peña’s Boom, Bust, Repeat is exemplary (in title, message and form) of his solo exhibition “Cyclical,” running until February 23 at Channel to Channel.

Not only does the circular shape and moniker of the piece indicate a sequential symmetry, but the duel nature of the layered material and the representational outlines convey the larger themes found throughout the show.

“Nick Peña’s works range from painting to multimedia installations that question the ever-changing psychological landscape of America; asking the viewer to re-examine their perceptions of the ‘American Dream’ and the effects that pursuit has on our environment,” according to the gallery. “Persistently researching these topics has led him to create landscapes built on dichotomies: past and present, representation and abstraction, analog and digital, and stability and instability.”

To create the pieces in the show, Peña laser cut Sintra PVC board as the white layers placed over watercolor and acrylic paintings.

Peña lives in Memphis and works as an associate professor of art at Christian Brothers University. To complement contemporary art studies in Scotland and explorations of adaptive technology, he received an MFA at the University of Missouri.

Channel to Channel is located at 507 Hagan Street in We-Ho.

As flores respiram by Bob Nugent

Art of the Week

After 39 years of showcasing contemporary art in Green Hills, Cumberland Gallery will be closing with a final show designed to celebrate its indelible legacy.

“A 39 Year Retrospective” features fifty artists whose work has adorned the walls of Cumberland Gallery. Part II of the show opened on February 9 and runs until March 2, presenting art that encompasses the gallery’s nearly four-decade mission. The gallery will then close for good in April.

“Despite differences in medium and modes of representation, [the artists in this show] have in common a great sense of artistic integrity and remarkable technical skill — qualities that have enabled Cumberland Gallery to gain a regional and national reputation for excellence,” according to a press release from the gallery.

Bob Nugent’s As flores respiram is reminiscent of the work he exhibited at Cumberland Gallery in a 2017 show titled “Ecos De Inhotim,” which featured his impressions of the Amazon River Basin through oil paintings, sculptures and watercolor field studies.

As flores respiram — “the flowers breathe” in Portuguese — offers a darkly rich palette of tropical color, bursting movement of painted flecks and a living combination of visible paint strokes and drips. But beyond its contemporary interpretation of a floral still life, the piece also exemplifies the 39-year history of Cumberland Gallery through Nugent’s own long-term relationship with it.

Nugent’s work has been displayed by Cumberland Gallery since it opened its doors in 1980. With a fine arts degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara and a slew of national awards, his presence in Nashville throughout the years is a testament to Cumberland Gallery’s long reach and success in its mission to bring the best of contemporary art to Nashville.

Cumberland Gallery is located at 4107 Hillsboro Circle.

Field of Poppies, Giverny by Claude Monet

Art of the Week

In its latest exhibition “Van Gogh, Monet, Degas, and Their Times: The Mellon Collection of French Art,” the Frist Art Museum is presenting work from some of the world’s most widely revered and accomplished artists.

The show features famous examples of French Impressionism, alongside other works from the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries that exemplify Romanticism and Cubism, all borrowed from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. In addition to the show’s namesakes, work from Picasso, Delacroix and others will be on display.

Field of Poppies, Giverny by Claude Monet is just one highlight of this special collection. Monet is perhaps the best known Impressionist painter in history and this piece captures both his en plein air approach and ability to capture the visual sensations of natural beauty in ways that a photograph cannot.

Field of Poppies, Giverny is one of four paintings of poppy fields that Monet completed during the summer of 1885″ according to a label prepared by Frist’s chief curator Mark Scala. “Monet quite likely set up his easel in a field near his house to capture the scene. His home appears in the middle distance, and to the right is the future site of his studio, in which he would paint his famous water lily canvases.”

The piece, along with the full exhibition, will be on display at Frist until May 5.

Frist Art Museum is located at 919 Broadway.

Unspeakable (demonic attack) by Leslie Holt

Art of the Week

Unspeakable (demonic attack) is an exemplary piece from Leslie Holt’s new show, “Hysterical Women,” on view at David Lusk Gallery from January 29 to February 23.

Inspired by the work of Goya, de Kooning and Lichtenstein, with references to Picasso, Kahlo, Kathe Kollwitz and others, Holt’s work for the show illustrates mental disorder and isolation through a combination of lonely, embroidered figures and large, disorienting globules of colored acrylic.

“In ‘Hysterical Women,’ Holt examines the first mental disorder attributed to women, and only women, through these references,” according to a press release from David Lusk Gallery. “Her figures are suspended and isolated, removed from their original context, and meticulously embroidered onto canvas. Aggressive stains of saturated acrylic paint hovers around each figure. The sewn marks are intimate and tender in contrast to the unruly drips and bleeding of the paint.”

Holt is from Maryland and works in the Washington, D.C. area. She has served as a social worker and advocate for those with developmental disabilities and mental illnesses.

Holt will be giving an artist’s talk at the gallery on February 2 at 2:00 p.m, preceding an exhibition opening event.

The David Lusk Gallery’s Nashville location is located at 516 Hagan Street in We-Ho.