Nicodim celebrated Will Thornton and Niklas Asker in two of its gallery spaces on July 8, 2023. Will Thornton: Hypnagogic Sex Idols opened in the downstairs gallery, while In The Shroud by Niklas Asker debuted in the upstairs gallery (451). You can still catch these exhibition through August 12, 2023.
Nicodim Will Thornton
Will Thornton manifested his current role of artist. He culled it from his dreams. While he and his wife were attempting to conceive, he was cutting hair for a living in Charleston, South Carolina. He felt unfulfilled and underpaid by his profession, so in 2019, he made a career change. The artist decided to devote himself to becoming a commissioned portrait painter for wealthy Southern families. It was good money, and de rigueur in those parts, and he loved portraits in the grand manner.
Will Thornton: Hypnagogic Sex Idols is a collection of portraits of contemporary hopes and consternations pinned to the wall before they metastasize internally, allowing the good parts to thrive and shoo-away the bad ones. The works are fertile origin stories à la the Venus of Willendorf combined with the boogeyman. These works are painted in a style reminiscent of Spanish Baroque masters like Diego Velázquez and Jusepe de Ribera. Therefore the bodies in this body of work squirt, shudder, and tremble under dramatic compositional chiaroscuro. This is exhibition-as-exorcism, this is exhibition-as-baby shower. Will Thornton (b. 1990, Crossville, Tennessee) lives and works in Charleston, South Carolina.
Upstairs in the same building…In The Shroud, his first solo exhibition in the United States, Swedish artist Niklas Asker explores the excavation of memory and spirituality. The title of the exhibition subversively acts as a nod to the Shroud of Turin. The cloth that is said to have covered the body of Jesus after his crucifixion and death also plays a role. In addition, Asker utilizes a technique of shrouding and covering leaves viewers with vague hints at his original references.
Inspired by the work of artists such as Anish Kapoor, Auguste Rodin, Berlinde De Bruyckere, and Victor Man, Asker seeks to convey spirituality without using overtly religious thematics. For Asker, these artists’ practices are imbued with a charge that evokes the same feeling as entering a church or other holy space. Though rather than being tied to any specific belief system or faith, Asker is interested in how works of art can stir a sense of awe in a viewer. He does this while moving steadily between abstraction and recognizable forms. Niklas Asker (b. 1979, Nordingrå, Sweden) lives and works in Malmö, Sweden.
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On view: July 8 – August 12, 2023
What: Will Thornton(downstairs) and Niklas Asker (Upstairs)
Where: Nicodim Gallery Los Angeles, 1700 S Santa Fe Avenue, #160, AND #451 LA, 90021
When: Running through August 12, 2023