I would like the viewer to experience the shift from utopian to dystopian, as if one realizes that a dream has just started to become troubling, without yet knowing why.
Nick Potter grew up in London and began making paintings about everyday modern spaces - particu- larly the elevators, lobbies and corridors of tower blocks and office buildings of the city he grew up in.
His interest in architecture led him to research the work of mid 20th Century architects and planners such as Le Corbusier and Oscar Niemeyer, whose designs and city plans for homes and social housing fundamentally changed how ordinary people related to the spaces and cities they lived in. Potter’s large scale paintings begin with research, including repeated site visits, photographs, and studies. They in- corporate elements of idealized mid-century architecture and furniture into rich and colorful paintings.
Often, Potter’s work exudes a sense of watchfulness or expectancy. People seldom appear, but in paint- ings such as Tiergarten (2012) and The Debris of Memories (2018), their presence is felt. The paintings situate the viewer in such a way that we inhabit the perspective of the outsider looking in at an idealized space from a distance. They often are painted at full life scale, with the result that it almost seems possi- ble step into the canvas. By creating a simultaneous sense of closeness and distance, Potter questions these idealized spaces and asks us to look beyond the surface.
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After completing graduate studies at the Birmingham Art Institute, Nick Potter moved to the U.S. in 1999, where he taught at Florida State University for two years before moving to California. His work has been shown in numerous group and solo exhibitions. His upcoming solo exhibition Constructed Utopias is on view at the Fresno Art Museum from July 20, 2019 to January 5, 2020. Potter is a Professor at California State University, Fresno.
This exhibition is presented by the Fresno Yosemite International Airport Arts & Culture program, which aims to welcome travelers to the Central Valley and showcase original works by artists who call this vi- brant and diverse region home.