Torah Paintings + Abstraction from Daniel Nevins
*Torah paintings were published as illustrations in With a Mighty Hand. Text copyright © 2013 by Amy Ehrlich. Illustrations copyright © 2013 by Daniel Nevins. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Candlewick Press, Somerville, MA.
When: September 24 - October 30, 2015 (revised start date)
Where: S. Tucker Cooke Gallery, Owen Hall
Reception: Thursday, September 24, 6-8:00 p.m.
Gallery Hours: 9 a.m.-6:00 p.m., Monday-Friday
Artist Lecture: Thursday, October 22, Humanities Lecture Hall, 6:00 p.m.
Both events are free and open to the public.
The visiting artist in S. Tucker Cooke Gallery from mid-September through October is Asheville artist Daniel Nevins, with an exhibition of his recent narrative and abstract work. Nevins grew up in Florida and California and graduated from the University of Florida in 1985 with a degree in graphic design. He has worked as designer, an illustrator, and a now as fine artist. His work has been seen all over the world and been featured in publications as diverse as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Hi-Fructose Magazine.
Nevins says of his fine art, "Through painting, I explore the theme of embodiment, the corporeal reality of life. Some of my paintings are wistful story-songs of humans relating to each other and nature. Some are more abstract and aim to convey the ever-changing world we each carry inside of us, the emotional landscape."
In 2012, Nevins was awarded a fellowship grant from the North Carolina Arts Council and in early 2014, he participated in an exhibition of fellowship award winners at the Contemporary Art Museum (CAM) in Raleigh.
In 2010 he was contracted to create the paintings (published in 2013) for With a Mighty Hand: The Story in the Torah, a re-telling by Amy Ehrlich, published by Candlewick Press. The Kirkus Review named it a “Best Book of 2013” and the New York Society of Illustrators included it in an exhibition of the best children’s books of that year.
Nevins's paintings are lively and provocative. I've never seen a more arresting manifestation of Jacob's all-night wrestling match; I looked at the rainbow illustration of the burning bush for a full minute before turning the page.---New York Times Book Review
Nevins’s handsome, richly colored oil on wood paintings, freely scattered throughout the pages, range in style from graphic renderings of the burning bush to a surrealist depiction of Jacob wrestling with God.--School Library Journal.
Nevins has taken a circuitous journey from the X-acto knife cut-and-paste of his graphic design days after college through the 1980s laying out designs for lifestyle magazines including those for the surfing crowd (Surfing Magazine) and the jazz aficionado (Jazziz) as well as magazines for volleyball and travel enthusiasts. His work has been reproduced in more than 16 countries on 6 continents.
In the early 1990s, he moved away from graphic design and relocated to Asheville where he continued producing illustrations for magazines, books, and more than 30 compact disc covers. He began working on figurative paintings in oil on large wood panel, progressively moving to abstraction in 2009. His paintings proved to be very popular during the past 25 years as his work has been in exhibitions across the United States: in Florida, California, Georgia, Louisiana, Colorado, an international juried exhibition at Manifest Gallery in Cincinnati, and many in Western North Carolina, including in Asheville at the Asheville Art Museum and nine exhibitions at Blue Spiral (three of which were solo). His most recent exhibition was in NC Arts Council Fellowship Award Exhibition at the Contemporary Art Museum in Raleigh in 2014.
The exhibition, With a Mighty Hand: Torah Paintings + Abstraction from Daniel Nevins, is held in conjunction with a program sponsored by The Center for Jewish Studies, Dr. Jay Jacoby's Lecture, "Riffing on Scripture: Artistic License and the Bible," on September 30 at 7:00 p.m., in the Manheimer Room in the Reuter Center. Dr. Jacoby writes: "The Bible rarely offers concrete descriptions of its characters or events. Generally, descriptions emerge from interpretations that are wholly and necessarily subjective. Looking at a few select biblical narratives, this discussion will focus on some of the aesthetic liberties taken by various biblical illustrators and how those liberties communicate the artists’ agendas and their audience’s culture." Sponsored by the Center for Jewish Studies and OLLI, the lecture is free and open to the public.
Nevins offers for sale on his website prints of his more popular work because he recognizes not everyone has the means to purchase an original oil on panel painting (as well as not everyone has space for one), but he feels that "We all deserve to have art in our lives. It enhances the home and serves as a reminder that our lives are deeply embedded in a mystery, that we can be swept up by a beautiful image that feeds our soul and brings vitality to our days." The image above, The Burning Bush, is available on canvas ready to hang or on smaller archival paper, which is not matted and framed. He will be donating half of sale price to the Center for Jewish Studies. To learn more about the print process or to puchase a print, visit his website.
Mr. Nevins will talk about his work on October 22 at 6:00 p.m. in the Humanities Lecture Hall. All events are free and open to the public. For additional information, email the Department of Art and Art History or telephone 828-251-6559.
Read more about Daniel Nevins and his art:
"Daniel Nevins' Long Strange Trip", Bold Life, April 2012
"With a Mighty Hand", Kirkus Review, October 3, 2013
"In the Beginning. . .", New York Times Sunday Book Review, November 8, 2013
"Artist's Note," from With a Mighty Hand, Candlewick Press, 2013