Jockum Nordstrom

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Just saw that this artist is having an exhibition next month. His work is called contemporary folk, outsider, naive, probably among other things, but I think it’s great work. He has been building this body of images for years, and there lies a consistency that I really appreciate. He’s a master of color and composition. Much of his earlier pieces were simple graphite on paper, but now there’s an equally appealing, and perhaps stronger collage component. I love that the collage elements are mostly his own little pieces attached to the surface, as opposed to primarily cutting out found images, though there is that too.

The work can seem crude, very personal, strange, even off-putting at times, but this is okay. He has a vast world of story telling and references, and it seems often to resemble the strangeness we all are accustomed to.

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Images courtesy of Zeno X Gallery, Antwerp

In addition to the flat work, he has exhibited many sculptures. These are buildings made of found and glued materials such as match boxes, paper, cardboard, etc. They are strange, precarious structures, that often remind me of decaying modernist, Eastern Bloc cities, worn out Brutalist architecture.

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I had the opportunity to briefly meet Mr. Nordstrom, and his wife, the great Swedish painter Mamma Andersson, in New York for one of her openings. Well, it wasn’t a meeting so much, as I got in line to get books signed by them both and awkwardly say how much I love their work, but it was an incredible trip, taken last second and spontaneously. Check out his work if you have the chance.

Raoul De Keyser (1930-2012)

The usually small and understated works by Raoul de Keyser have called me back to them for years. Much of his work impresses on me how powerful a quiet and private vision can be.

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“Oskar 5” Image courtesy of Zeno X Gallery, Antwerp

Luc Tuymans (b. 1958)

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Published by: San Francisco Museum of Modern Art/ Wexner Center for the Arts/D.A.P, 2009

A long-time favorite painter of mine, Luc Tuymans has mastered a style and technique that has been quite influential. His appropriation and re contextualization of imagery, coupled with his diffuse, vague, and chalky paint, creates an often eerie or mysterious atmosphere. Often, it is the behind the scenes content that is what gives his body of work so much impact. He brilliantly straddles the line between representation and abstraction, and in my opinion, portrays the world as it actually is. Uncertain, confusing, diffuse and associative. His work can be viewed at the David Zwirner Gallery or Zeno-X Gallery.