The dizzying effect of Nelson’s two-sided paintings brings to mind the sensory overload of living in a city.
Dona Nelson’s works are literally made to stand up for themselves, bolted to wooden platforms and staged in coteries of pictorial bodies.
Dona Nelson’s paintings are by turns joyous, confounding, risky, mysterious, straightforward, difficult, tied up in knots and freewheeling. One thing they are not is uniform. Nelson has long resisted a signature style, committing herself instead to an adventurousness in her means of expression.
The recent resurgence of interest in contemporary painting has posited the unique object — especially the handcrafted, the slapped-together, and the aggressively tactile — as yin to neo-conceptualism’s yang, a raggedy-edged refutation of the factory-finished, the reproducible, and the overly cerebral.