Nikolai Winter

Marcelle Joseph Projects, in conjunction with Charlotte Artus Art, is delighted to present its inaugural exhibition of contemporary art. Fast and Steady is a treble solo show featuring the work of three European artists: Corrado Sassi of Italy, Tilo Kaiser of Germany and Nikolai Winter of Switzerland.  The show will present the recent output of these three artists who, while exploring their practices within three different media, each take a deeply steadfast, consistent and thorough approach to their research.

The hand sculptures created by Nikolai Winter also arise from his travels.  The artist confronts the viewer with gestural three-dimensional works of art that are conversely reminiscent of fast moving objects.  To create these sculptures, a steady hand, a resolute process and an unwavering eye for detail are required. Nikolai first carves, saws and sands a block of polystyrene and then casts the shape in polyester before applying several layers of shiny metallic car paint, which gives the works a super slick finish ŗ la Jeff Koons or Anish Kapoor.

Hands are a constant area of fascination for Nikolai.  He is interested in their various postures and symbolic character, communicating their aura and expressiveness through his sculptures. Nikolaiís use of hand gesture imagery can be traced to his travels throughout Asia. Inspired by the Terracotta Army in XiíAn, China, he created a group of Abhaya hand sculptures in 2010, in effect building an army of hands.  The design of this hand is based on an ancient Tibetan Buddha hand modeled after the Abhaya mudra, a symbol of fearlessness and the displacement of anxiety.  Nikolai links the mudra, or spiritual gesture of the hand, back to the spirit of the Terracotta Army. Nikolaiís work situates the beauty and aura of ancient cultures within the speed and flash of the contemporary art race, drawing our attention to the distinctions between the two.

By contrast, after receiving a commission to create a sculpture for a well-known nightclub in Zurich, Nikolai conceived the Doigt díhonneur (middle finger) sculpture. This hand gesture, although a provocative and vulgar symbol of modern times, transforms into an image of elegance by the artistís use of materials and steadfast emphasis on finish.