Figgis, Laurence

Exhibition text, Inverleith House
February 2008

Nick Evans’s sculptural works have been shaped by a fluid investigation of his materials. In a sense he does much of his thinking through direct contact with the substances he chooses to work with. This intuitive practice, mixed with analysis is tangible in the finished works which possess an aspect of organic transformation equal to their impressive solidity.

The works evolve through a far-reaching investigation of sculptural possibility. Complex internal dialectics emerge within each piece, via the unusual combination of materials and the gravity-defying stresses placed on substances like polystyrene, steel, aluminium, fibreglass, ceramic and resin. This acute marriage of sculptural spontaneity with physical integrity results in feats of some poise and elegance as well as totemic ambition and psychological power. The works are profoundly shaped by the formalist concerns of their modernist predecessors and by an awareness of their physical proximity to (and potential mimesis) of the viewer’s body. But while they demonstrate a potent historical lineage they refrain from tokenistic references to the work of other artists. The works’ potential representational qualities are also held rigorously at bay.

The sculptures operate within a space of intellectual and material autonomy that is beyond a fussy anecdotalism or bland theoretic. They excite the viewer’s imaginative interpretations through an aspect of knowing primitivism structured on a consistently inventive and intricate engagement with the works’ structure and physical evolution.