Artist Spotlight: Nicole Maynard Sahar
Nicole Maynard-Sahar is originally from Boston (b. 1971) and is a current artist-in-residence at the Bakehouse Art Complex in the Wynwood Arts District of Miami. She completed her MFA in Painting at the University of Pennsylvania in 1996 and received a BFA from Massachusetts College of Art and Design in 1993.
Her work has been featured in numerous exhibitions that include, but are not limited to: Women in the Arts at Amerant Bank in Coral Gables, FL, Between the Legible and the Opaque: Approaches
to an Ideal in Place, and Art Basel official studio tours. Her solo exhibitions include-- Bowery Gallery in New York City, Villanova University, and Johnson & Johnson’s World Headquarters.
Her gestural work is improvisational and relies on decades of experience, while her geometric abstract paintings are created after preliminary sketches have been transferred by hand in pencil onto the painting surface. Maynard-Sahar interprets her experiences through her work, the instrument of her thoughts and feelings.
The artist hopes people will be able to dream their own dreams when looking at her work. She believes painting is unique in its plasticity and that oils are able to be transformed to communicate a variety of substances that can allow for subtle communication of emotions, sensations, and observations of the visual world.
In addition to painting, Maynard-Sahar creates drawings, artist books, Polaroid emulsion lifts, and collage. The 2020 pandemic shifted her work towards geometric rather than gestural abstraction.Color and an interest in landscape still remain at the fore.
This new body of work, painted in perpetual quarantine, is a direct result of the daily experience of living during the Covid-19 pandemic. Due to the virus, globally, collectively, there is an acute awareness of the physical and psychological distance between the individual and others. Exacerbating isolation and fear of contraction is the socio-political climate in the United States that divides not only the country but communities and even families.
My paintings changed dramatically from gestural abstract landscapes to surreal, abstract places. My intensified spatial experience of my home (simultaneous sanctuary and container) led me to use linear perspective to map architectural space. In addition to people, I have deeply missed seeing paintings in museums. I have spent years memorizing passages of paintings in person. Now I spend time scouring the internet for lectures and close-ups of old master paintings, desperately trying to connect to what can only be communicated through paint. Although my paint handling is altered in this new work, the sensuous properties of paint have not. The resulting images are otherworldly, liminal places outside time. Luminous colored forms and spaces invite the viewer into the dream.
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