Nick Fagan: Existential Marks

Opening reception on April 5, 2019  7-9pm

ADA Gallery
228 W. Broad St.
Richmond, VA

In Existential Marks, Fagan’s latest works take form on an assortment of salvaged wood, including 100 year old floorboards from a since-demolished Richmond stadium upon which hundreds of thousands of footprints have been recorded, to explore the ways in which he himself leaves his mark, and the significance- if not the futility- of art-making as a means to do so. While Fagan grapples with particularly solemn questions concerning self-identity, existentialism, spirituality, and the relation of the individual to the collective, he articulates these themes, almost joyfully, through comic icons and vibrant imagery.

His use of floorboards invokes a distinctive sense of looking down, and his forms, cradled between abstraction and literality, are often papered with fragments of photographs and sketches, some of which appear as if they’ve simply landed there, fallen from above. Elsewhere, Fagan opts for crisp, white brush strokes that seem to be part of a larger image, extending into the negative space beyond.

Fagan received his BFA from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2014 and went on to receive an MFA in Sculpture + Extended Media from the Ohio State University in 2017. Fagan’s recent solo exhibitions include Making Authority at Versa (Chattanooga, TN) and Mundane at ADA Gallery in 2018. ADA has featured his work in three different group exhibitions: 15 YRS! Everybody In The Pool! (2018), Fine Line (2018), and Untitled Art Fair Miami (2017). His work has also appeared in Encounters with Good Children Gallery (New Orleans, LA), GOT IT FOR CHEAP with Western Exhibitions (Chicago, IL), Destroy Your Eyes with Baby Blue Gallery (Chicago, IL), Gingerblue with Feast Gallery (Fayetteville, AR) and Open Yards with YARDS projects (Cleveland, OH). His past residencies include the Vermont Studio Center (Johnson, VT), the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture (Madison, ME), the Anderson Gallery in Richmond, and most recently, the ARC Residency in Chattanooga. Fagan has been awarded the John Fergus Family Scholarship Award in 2017 and 2016, the VSA Kennedy Center Award in 2016, the Harold North Award in 2014 and the Charles Renick Scholarship in 2013. He has been featured in press ranging from NPR and New American Paintings to THE RIB and Artist A Day. His work is also part of the Ohio State University Collection.