Res Ipsa proudly presents NIGHT, Nick Weber’s first West Coast solo show. The show is on display March 2 through April 13.
While Weber is a New York artist who has shown extensively in New York City and the Hamptons, he has strong West Coast ties. As an undergraduate at Stanford (he graduated in 1993), he studied painting with Nathan Oliveira (1928-2010), whose mentorship continues to exert a strong influence on Weber’s work.
The paintings exhibited in NIGHT include several of the most recent works in a series Weber has been making for nearly 20 years. These paintings capture moments and encounters that occur at night. Even the paintings that do not depict a human figure convey a sense of excitement in anticipation of the unknown erotic encounter, as well as a sense of haunting, mystery, and anxiety.
WEBER: Nathan [Oliveira] said, “paint the reality behind reality” and at first I struggled to understand what he meant. I’ve always been drawn to a photographic realism, but been unsatisfied with photorealism, especially the surface, as it feels false, or facile. When I discovered the work of Antonio Lopez-Garcia, I was astonished, inspired. He paints the photographic light, but that is only part of the reality depicted in Garcia’s images. There is a suggestion of something below the surface, a world Nathan had urged me to explore… I have been working on my night scenes for 20 years. I started them in Palo Alto in the early 90s. Wandering around at night always heightens my senses. There is the possibility of a sexual encounter, there is danger; sometimes a figure in the distance is hard to decipher and could represent either. The world at night is a portal to this reality behind reality; the very streets that are so familiar during daylight hours become mysterious, theatrical. The visual is reduced, simplified. Trees become strange shapes; secrets are hinted at in the furtive silence.
Weber’s NIGHT series also bears striking similarities (formal and otherwise) to Todd Hido’s photographs, particularly those from Hido’s book, Outskirts. Coincidentally, Res Ipsa’s gallery space was, a few years ago, used by Hido as a showroom for his work.
Limited edition prints of some of Weber’s paintings are available for sale.