March 24, 2012

Niels Shoe Meulman "Justified Scriptures" solo exhibition at 941 Geary Gallery


Niels Shoe Meulman
Justified Scriptures


March 24, 2012 - April 21, 2012
Opening Reception – March 24, 2012, 6-9 pm

941Geary is pleased to present the solo exhibition of Amsterdam-based artist, Niels Shoe Meulman (NSM), opening March 24, 2012 at 941Geary. The new works of the show have been shaped by the wide variety of artistic paths NSM has traveled. The opening will be free and open to the public, and the show will run until April 21, 2012.






Before running his own design company, followed later by an advertising agency, NSM apprenticed with Anthon Beeke, a Dutch graphic designer considered at the top of his field. Through a classic master/pupil education NSM developed the required skillset of a designer and typographer. This mastery of the mechanical aspects of design can be seen throughout the body of works comprising ‘Justified Scriptures.’ Each work, form the small to the large, demonstrates NSM’s superb sense of space and precision. Drawing much inspiration from an interest in earth sciences, NSM has said “most laws of graphic design and graffiti are universal laws. Balance, continuity, those kinds of things. In a way nature is our only reference.” NSM’s new work brings a harmonious organization to chaos, with bold free-form strokes repeating themselves over and over until a pattern is formed.





The trained eye can decipher words written in NSM’s signature “calligraffiti” amidst the patterns of a few works, including the massive linen canvas, titled ‘Unknown,’ though most of the artist's current work experiments with a new style, self-described as “Abstract Expressionism with a calligraphic origin.” The intricate curves of NSM’s linework are derived from a long interest in the beauty of the written word, referencing an impressive range of forms, from the calligraphy of sacred Arabic texts to vertical writing of East Asian scripts to the richly illuminated manuscripts of medieval times. These influences are dismantled into abstract compositions, where the main focus seems to be the smooth integration of natural forms and structured design.



‘Justified Scriptures’ can be seen as following in the footsteps left by the group of Modernist painters after which famed art historian Clement Greenberg once noted, “The excitement of their art seems to lie most of all in its pure preoccupation with the invention and arrangement of spaces, surfaces, shapes, colors, etc., to the exclusion of whatever is not necessarily implicated in these factors.”



From the Artist:

“If these works remind you of mass graves, bookshelves, military parades, meditative exercises, blocks of text or people in general (all different but the same), then I'm happy. I'm starting to abandon the idea of telling stories but acknowledge the beauty of communication. I don't believe anything anymore and what's left is language itself. That's what this work is about.”


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