Speck of Dust

louis block on the “thingliest paintings” of thomas nozkowski.

What would it mean for a painting to be described as disclosure, a hardening of a specificity, but also a lightness? It goes back to the thing-ness of this whole thing, the perception of certain forms as having agency based on certain characteristics. The thingliest paintings are worked-over, messy surfaces that cohere into ecstatic designations that are felt, not named. No coincidence that thing, in Old English, meant meeting, assembly, matter. Nozkowski’s paintings can conflate a speck of dust with the dimple in an old smile. The optical ringing that they create, clarion also in the shoulder and wrist, is worth more than words.

Louis Block, “Thomas Nozkowski: Everything in the World,” Brooklyn Rail, April 2024