Press Release


Galerie Richard is pleased to present Kristinn Nicolai's new paintings from July 1 to September 16, 2017. Nicolai was born in Reykjavik, Iceland, in 1945. He lives and works between Beijing, Paris, Madrid and Reykjavik. Conceptual and mystical, poetic and provocative, the artist seeks to represent the intimacy of human nature. His first exhibition was held in Paris with "Tribute to Mishima" in 1980. Since then, his work has been exhibited in various galleries and museums around the world.


Nicolai, which is his real artist pseudonym, is a great figurative painter. He excels in chiaroscuro, the arrangement of lights that allows him to juggle between what he wants to show and what he wants to suggest. All wrapped up in black leather, his paintings are themselves plunged into darkness. The artistic conception of Nicolai could be assimilated by what he denominates "the darkness of Eden". In fact, his work represents his personal paradise. As he says, "we can see a relationship between the cosmos, sex and religion". This means an elevation from the superfluous to the sacred, a quest he pursues throughout his career as an artist.


Nicolai questions the world without prejudice and without restraint. Courbet was the instigator of this foreground with his work "The Origin of the World". Art and rhetoric are joined: Venus looks at the viewer but it is unnoticed in the darkness. The faces are hidden, the intimate parts unveiled. The work and life of Nicolai are imbued with the tradition in which Rubens and Dalí are reborn, and can touch the reminiscences of the historical eye of Bataille, Sartre or Apollinaire.


Nicolai regularly exhibits his works from the late 80s to the present day in renowned galleries in Amsterdam, Paris, New York, Madrid, Barcelona, Beijing, Tokyo, Valencia ... as well as in art fairs such as Art Basel, Arco, Art Cologne, Art LA, Art Madrid, etc. He exhibits regularly in the biggest museums in China and his works are in the collections of many museums in China.