Nick Pilato (1986 – )

Pilato debuts a series of paintings consisting of concrete and oil paint on canvas. Each work combines gritty textures and a rich color palette evoking nature and organic substances. The paintings are material compositions, disrupted through varying phases of deterioration, abrasion, and formal displacement. The canvases are scraped and broken down into abstract gestures and diffuse patterning. This excavation creates surfaces of raw texture and color, invoking aspects of sedimentation, erosion and industrial decay. Alongside the concrete and oil paintings, Pilato introduces compositions of hand-glazed commercial tiles. Undermining the minimalist relationship to the grid, the glossy surface of the ceramic paintings are more reminiscent of Roman glass vessels which reveal their luminosity through centuries of decomposition. In a further exploration of abstraction, these sensuous surfaces contrast the pitted matte painting on canvas. Pilato’s work blurs the distinction between material incident and artist intervention. In the vein of Pierre Bonnard’s relationships between color and memory, the lyrical abstraction refrains from any direct representation—seeking to engage the viewer’s perception through displacement and familiarity. The idiosyncrasy of the work suspends any immediate tangibility, and instead invites multiple meanings to be drawn upon the textures, color, light, and materials that are pushed together with the artist’s distinct tempo and vitality. Pilato lives and works in New York and received his MFA from Rutgers University, New Jersey in 2013.