Nick Goss (b. 1981) was born in Bristol and now lives and works in London. One of the most acclaimed young painters to emerge out of the UK in recent years, Goss studied at Slade School of Fine Art and the Royal Academy. He was featured in The Drawing Room biennial in 2013 and the The Drawing Room exhibition Tan Lines in 2014. He has also had solo exhibitions at Josh Lilley Gallery, London, and Simon Preston, New York.
Goss uses tonal washes and evanescent colours to render spaces that exist in the liminal areas between memory and the imagination. His paintings depict space as a psychological phenomenon, in which captured moments of time are transient and remote. Preoccupied with everyday settings that require pause for thought and reflection, Goss has used watercolours, fabric dye, screen print and oils to paint disjointed scenes that, whether they are landscapes or interiors, are fragile and intimate. Much of his work draws upon a wide range of literary and artistic influences, to create paintings that often resemble old photographs, or rather, the memory of an old photograph. Often in one canvas, detail can fade away into an almost invisible wash, while in another area forms sharpen into focus with intense impasto detailing. This absence of resolution speaks to Goss’s interest in the uncanny; he has discussed leaving “lacunae or sinkholes” in his paintings, in order to allow the audience to approach the work with their own memories and ideas so no interpretation remains fixed.
Erasure is a dominant theme in Goss’s oeuvre; the raw linen of his works is often prominent, peeping through the paint to create added layers that destroy the illusion of an untouchable painted space. Goss takes photographs or makes small sketches of the interior or exterior he intends to paint, but then blows up the image and washes it out until little of the original picture remains. Figures only appear faintly in his works, to make clear that the space they inhabit is the central subject, yet they anchor his works to reality, providing familiarity in an otherwise knowingly unstable oneiric landscape.