The Museum of Clear Ideas

Paulius Nosokas – rotate / repeat / scale / move / subtract
November 2009

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Paulius Nosokas is a 28-year-old artist and graphic designer who understands the power of limitation. Here he shows a series of Minimalist-inspired paintings on plywood called “rotate / repeat / scale / move / subtract” that he’s designed to offer viewers the most visual pleasure and ‘punch’ via the simplest means possible. For Nosokas, economy is generosity.

Each painting is constructed humbly, yet exceedingly carefully, using only a palette of 6 colors of acrylic latex house paint (Warm Spring (blue), Barnyard Grass (green), Fire Island (red)) on narrow, oak plywood surfaces, all of which the artist purchased at Home Depot.

The compositions are long (213 x 61 cm)-to the point where, up close, they engage our peripheral vision, yet narrow-narrow enough that we could easily hold them and walk away with them. (Hence, Nosokas invites the owner of his paintings to “rotate,” turn, flip, and otherwise hang them at will.)

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A strange, perceptual dichotomy is the result. We feel unable to ‘grasp’ an entire composition with our mind’s eye; at the same time, we know that, in terms of materials and size, these paintings are completely within our grasp.

Limitation ends up becoming a pretty complicated notion.

In Nosokas’ case, it yields all sorts of unquantifiable, highly personal things: whimsy, mystery, curiosity, the giddy buzz of optical exhilaration.

Each of these paintings is a crisp, design-object enigma. Until he exhibits them in an actual gallery, we’ve exhibited them here in a virtual space I like to call a small “Museum of Clear Ideas.”*

-Sarah Schmerler

 

*”The Museum of Clear Ideas” is a book of poetry by former U.S. Poet Laureat, Donald Hall, Houghton Mifflin, New York, 1993