In her autumn exhibition at Sadie Coles HQ, Nicola Tyson presents nine new paintings alongside three groups of graphite drawings. Reflecting the close dynamic between painting and drawing that has activated her practice from the beginning, Holding Pattern builds on the artist’s acclaimed survey at the Drawing Room in 2017, pushing her use of figuration and portraiture into experimental territory – a place, as she describes, of “pause, a hiccup of laughter, and release.”
In Tyson’s new paintings, intensity of colour – applied in bold segments – is countered by a sense of mutability or suspendedness. Bodies cross into objects and vice versa. Space appears to oscillate between luminous flatness and intimations of depth. Between the Trees captures different organic structures on the point of metamorphosis or interchange: twin tree trunks slice vertically through the composition, framing a more tentative, disjointed stack of anatomic or cellular forms: a floral ‘head’ punctured by a radial eye, a turquoise orb suggesting a torso, two disembodied red hands, and a pair of coloured nuclei.