Press

“The sheer unforced lushness of Solomon’s work… the eye out for pleasure says yes to the drift, looseness and generosity of Solomon's work.”
—Kenneth Baker, San Francisco Chronicle


“Lively installations of fluid painterly compositions on Mylar by Nellie King Sololomon”.
—Stefanie Cash, Art in America

"... San Francisco studio of artist friend Nellie King Solomon… King Solomon's studio is an untidy – if eloquent – stand in and metaphor for Behar's own studio. "I guess that, in an artist studio, the evidence of creating process is more obvious," he says.

     "Trained in architecture, King Solomon paints on large translucent acrylic surfaces with brilliantly colored paints, which create oily abstractions: pools and swirling seepages and carefully controlled colors. "The slick paint both attracts and repels, like oil spills, or hot toxic colored fields," says King Solomon. The translucency surfaces allow the edges to disappear into the wall. "The wall misbehaves to reveal a painting, allowing the painting to become subversive architecture." You see you can see why such a radical but simple creative process would appeal to designer like Behar."

—Yves Behar and Nellie King Solomon, Wallpaper Magazine, London, England

“Nellie King Solomon describes her paintings as, “spaces where energy moves matter.  Events double back to devour themselves, momentum overtakes strategy, tectonic plates meet and collide.”  Reflecting her experiences of great western landscapes, interior or exterior terrains, or even the smallest personal event, Solomon’s work is ethereal—at once scientific in design and emotional in feeling.  Solomon paints flat on a table, allowing gravity and the surface to compose her pieces.  The end result possesses both a sense of movement, and of great stillness that is dramatic and enchanting.” 

—Ochi Press Release

"Nellie King Solomon's work at Braunstein/Quay fits no definition of painting. But anyone who wants to defend it must refer to the paintings of such people as Sam Francis, Morris Louis and Helen Frankenthaler."

"Solomon’s tools and techniques leave no clear traces of their nature. "

"The flux and bleed of pigment in Solomon’s tall, narrow "Strips" (2001) recall the marks left by melting ice and Andy Goldsworthy's icicle "drawings". But the "Strips" also stir vague recollections of Asian hanging scroll paintings."

"Finally only the sheer unforced lushness of Solomon's work ... Whatever the mind says, the eye out for pleasure, says yes to the drift and looseness and generosity of Solomon's work."

"Her show is a powerful debut."

—Kenneth Baker, Pleasures in Rich Pools of Color, San Francisco Chronicle, Datebook, Saturday, July 28, 2001

"San Francisco painter Nellie King Solomon wrestles with the profoundly simple, central questions in recent work at Brian Gross. How can we know a mark from a form? On what sort of control does expressiveness depend? Can materials or tools by themselves qualify or disqualify at work "as a painting"?"

"The 8-foot-square "Magenta and Hooker Green Rings 1" (2010) seems to waver between describing something from a high elevation, like a satellite image and something in extreme close-up, like a microphotograph. The material immediacy of the work anchors this striking ambiguity."

"Viewers who know Andy Goldsworthy's snowball "drawings" may think of them here, and for a lineage of color field paintings. Visitors familiar with Solomon's art will find her working with new authority."

—Kenneth Baker, Is it up close or far away? San Francisco Chronicle and SF Gate Datebook, Saturday, September 25, 2010.

"...works in the 8-foot-square scale of "Unbecoming" and "Soon". A span of reference from Henri Matisse (1869-1954) to Morris Lewis (1912-1962) to David Reed shakes out of "Unbecoming" without forcing by Solomon."

"Solomon's material decisions yields something that eludes most painters who work in this vein: the sense of color displaying itself. That sort of aesthetic power made Louis' best work surpass even that of Mark Rothko (1903-1970). We have only begun to see what Solomon may make of it."

—Kenneth Baker, Fissures Unite Stone for Commentary on Earthquake Country: Solomon at Gross, San Francisco Chronicle, Saturday, October 29, 2005

"A few jump to the eye, such as a sleek new mixed-media abstraction on Mylar by San Franciscan Nellie King Solomon at the Julie Baker Fine Art of Grass Valley."

—Kenneth Baker, Small Treasures at Fort Mason, San Francisco Chronicle, 2004.

"... followed by a livelier installation of fluid painterly compositions on Mylar by Nellie King Solomon."

—Stephanie Cash, Report from San Francisco II, New and Now, Art in America, 2006

"Nellie King Solomon, 29, a recent MFA graduate from the California College of Arts and Crafts, created pieces she describes as "places more than paintings" using large sheets of translucent Mylar. The works feature in the show were created especially for "Introductions" expanding upon the works that won Braunstein's attention."

—Anne Crump, A Change of Art, San Francisco Examiner, July 10, 2001

"Ever since bay area Painter Nellie King Solomon had her first solo show in San Francisco fresh out of graduate school in 2001, her work has met with positive reviews, even from the hard-to-please SF Chronicle art critic Kenneth Baker."

"Solomon makes luscious, ephemeral large-scale abstract paintings on Mylar, addressing issues of space and environment, control and movement."

"Solomon’s path to painting was indirect...” (through architecture, printmaking and dance) ... 

"With this new work, Solomon is beginning to move. Whereas past paintings were almost self-created by the undulations of her work surface, in these, Solomon is the primary guiding force. A common feature throughout her large, thick rings that don't quite close; the shape is created with a graceful full-body gesture, a nod to Solomon’s early training as a dancer. "I have hidden that strong arm behind my back for a long time," she explains. "I am just letting it come out. That's one reason I work so large. I wanted it to some degree out of my control. If it's too big for me to be able to handle, it keeps me from getting glib. It keeps me a little scared." Solomon’s increased boldness is also evident in her changing palette..."

".... The influence of Solomon's interest in the environment, and the increasing degradation of it, is increasingly obvious. Gone are the delicate niceties of early works; these paintings are brave, brazen, and intense."

" I always knew I had something to say," says Solomon, reflecting back over her career to date. "I just didn't know what it was going to say. But I knew that nobody was going to do it if I didn't. I feel like I'm just getting started."

—Cherie Louise Turner, Features: Nellie King Solomon, Art LTD, September 2010

"Over the past few years, a number of substantial developments have taken place with her work; an expression and evolution is underway. Her domain is an ephemeral world, seeing through her translucent Mylar windows. Her soft, nonrepresentational forms seem to swim in the ether at a glacial pace. More recently, things feel as though they operate any increased and more deliberate rate. They are crowded and feel pressed for time and space, in contrast to the deep the abstract space ..."

"...New territory forms an intersection between the literal and the abstract.."

"What does the ring represent to you? Does this bold gesture contain a warning or a signal of some sort?… Solomon simply replies, "It's an incomplete ring, that's either going to save you, or clobber you, or is you... It's a ring you can get into, and you can get out of. It may not save you, you may be able to hang onto it."

"I don't want to make digital art, but I do want to make work at the deals with the way our brains have changed... When we're driving, we're not doing one thing anymore. We've got eight screens in our minds, and I'm trying to live that out, and let that change the abstract space of paint, in the way it is changed our minds... We all know it has changed us, so how does it change what we make? Making paintings that synthesize these experiences, still having them read as the big mother abstractions that I know how to do, but not having them avoid the invasive contemporary content of our lives."

"In this series I'm having the sublime abstractions collide with the things you're not allowed to paint about; freeways, lost friendships, money, fame, health, hubris, loss of control, and the art world itself. It can be beautiful, terrible, and funny – hopefully."

—Gabe Scott, Painting Preview, Belle SF, February 2013

“The title of this show, No More Mr. Nice Guy, really says it all. With this series of Rings, Solomon has abandoned many of the delicate niceties of her earlier work, reforming them into dynamic topographies that are bold, and occasionally even a bit harrowing, undaunted and dark. Experiments with iridescent paint, new glass tools and soda-ash yield works that rebel against the airy lightness of her older work. While the new paintings retain their sense of the organic, and the hint of the enchanted, they are more commanding—perhaps even spiritual as they contrast great emptiness with audacious opaque curves, chameleon surfaces and unbridled drips of paint.”

—Ochi Press Release