Nigel Mullins: Mass Gatherings
In Mass Gatherings, his second solo exhibition running from September 13 to Oct 12, 2019, at Everard Read London, South African artist, Nigel Mullins, presents vivid and compelling scenes of recent and historic gatherings that have become momentous and iconic. His painterly exploration makes use of sumptuous impasto, veering between figuration and abstraction without restraint.
Mullins’ large-format works encompass a dizzying view of Trafalgar Square during the Trump protests; a brooding night sky over the Charlie Hebdo protests in Paris; swooping cinematic vistas of Times Square, New York on V.E. day, 1945; smears of kaleidoscopic colour depicting a climate change march in Amsterdam; a vast gathering in Moscow’s Red Square shortly before the fall of the USSR; and the 1913 Woman Suffrage March on Washington DC, the crowd rendered in a monochromatic riot of paint.
These works convey the turmoil and restlessness of our times; their power lies in their ability to capture the Instagram-able images of mass gatherings that characterise our era. Mullins’ canvases, with their vertiginous vantage point and lashings of paint, both sensual and viscous, give the sensation of soaring above the crowd and simultaneously falling to earth and merging with the jostling, raucous mass of humanity.
Born in 1969, Nigel Mullins is known for his various explorations of oil painting and stop-frame animation. He completed his Master of Fine Arts degree with distinction at Rhodes University, South Africa in 1993. Since graduating, he has held numerous solo exhibitions in South Africa, the UK and Germany and participated in over 50 group shows. His work has been represented on the Cape Town, Johannesburg, Frankfurt and London art fairs and on the Mumia International Underground Animation Festival, Brazil.
In 2014, he exhibited a body of work called Chaotic Region at Oliewenhuis Art Museum in Bloemfontein, South Africa. Mullins was the winner of the first prize at the Royal Overseas League 14th Annual Open Exhibition in London in 1997, he was a nominee for the Daimler Chrysler Award for Contemporary South African Art in 2000 and recipient of a merit prize at the ABSA Atelier in the same year.
Mullins work is held in public and private collections in South Africa, the UK and Europe.
April 08, 2021