Limited-verbal and artist with disabilities and brain tumour Nicholas Kontaxis announces a first international show in London
Colossal canvases, a vivid palette, and playful titles – a new collection of defiantly buoyant pieces from American abstract artist Nicholas Kontaxis arrives in London for his international debut this September.
A celebrated, self-taught outsider artist, Kontaxis has built a successful career creating large-scale paintings utilizing heavy body acrylic paints and a battalion of pallet knives. In the last three years, his work has anchored a slew of sell-out solo exhibitions and record-breaking crowds at galleries in Los Angeles, Sun Valley, Palm Desert, and Chicago. Kontaxis has been commissioned by the likes of Adidas, Coachella and the Los Angeles Chargers, while attracting collectors such as Roger Federer and Eric Schmidt. His story has been featured throughout the American press, including an Emmy-nominated piece from NBC.
“Nicholas’ paintings are some of the most inspiring works I’ve seen” said Steph Sebbag of De Re Gallery in Los Angeles, “comparable to artists such as Jasper Johns and Sam Francis.”
The 23-year-old’s personal background is also especially distinct. Kontaxis was born with an extensive brain tumor that has resulted in him suffering over 50,000 seizures throughout his life. As Montana Butler of Heather James Fine Art observed, “painting has served as a respite for the artist over the years. Nicholas’ story is similar to that of numerous other prominent figures throughout art history, such as Van Gogh, who also had temporal lobe epilepsy.” Additionally, Kontaxis has a related form of autism, which in some ways is revealed within the work itself through the myriad repetitious strokes that are a hallmark of his artistic style.
Kontaxis is set to make his international debut with a solo exhibition entitled “Reach” at 35 Baker Street in London, England, from September 4th-10th. This anticipated collection, curated by West Contemporary, and held at 35 Baker Street, will be open to the public, with an invitation-only event on September 5th.
West Contemporary renowned gallerist Liam West believes that it is vital that Kontaxis’ works debut in London. “Nicholas is not only a young, talented artist, but one that has championed seemingly unconquerable physical setbacks,” said West. “He is contributing something new and exciting, which the London and international art scenes must see.”