Nice’n Easy, a collaborative endeavor by artists Allison Matherly and Jeffrey Noble, presents new works in a pop-up exhibition at Miami’s &gallery. The exhibition, simply titled “A Nice Show” features paintings, sculpture and a site-specific installation referencing Miami, and exploring movement and reflection. The artists’subtropical vernacular is expressed via the incorporation of plants, depiction of water movement, use of white tiles and Art Deco inspired colors such as flamingo pink, peach sherbet, pool blue, lilac and tropical greens. The paintings conjure images of swimming pools and the Atlantic ocean as well as the Art Deco buildings on Ocean Drive. Reaching for a romatic and poetic register, Nice n’ Easy create an environment defined by emotional connections and points of reflection.
The first point of reflection are the benches in the main exhibition space. They are meant for viewers to take a seat, inviting the viewer to become part of the exhibition and create a personal art experience, and then go beyond the art and spend time with themselves and others, engaging, reflecting and enjoying the surroundings. The inviting space creates a platform for intimate exchange between artwork and viewer, artists and viewer, and between multiple participants as viewers share experiences utilizing the benches or interacting with each other through the mirror in the project room and within the gallery space.
Focused on creating immersive experiences, the project room installation features mirrors and neon circles, thereby incorporating viewers into the artwork via their reflections but also, again, inviting them to engage with the artwork and then take the experience beyond the art. The circles, inscribed with the words “You” and “Me,” referenced interpersonal dependency, self-help and recovery, which are recurring theme in the artists’ works. The fountain underneath the mirror serves as a third point of reflection as viewers can see themselves, albeit distorted, as the water also reflects the mirror and vice versa. Viewers are also invited to throw a coin and make a wish, thereby joining their hopes with the artwork and creating a very personal context surrounding the art and viewing experience.
The water movements of the fountain reference the paintings of the main exhibition and connect the spaces visually as well as conceptually. The fourth point of reflection moves through the entire exhibition in waves, as the artists capture the light reflections on water on the canvases. The viewer is surrounded by lights dancing on top of the water, and the swaying and constant motion of the waves, transporting a certain freedom and vastness into the confines of the gallery. The fifth and final point of reflection is the exhibition at large. Surrounded by movement as well as counterpoints of stillness that invite to take a break, the viewer can move through the space at their own pace. The artworks and curation are steering the viewer along but allow enough space for thought and engagement.