Ostoff’s paintings are characterized by their interest in domestic space, details and seriality. His work pushes the boundaries of representational abstractions of commonplace realities. King’s drawing-and-sculpture-based practice is invested in probing material and semiotic relationships to explore and exhaust the potentiality of specific objects.
With this exhibition, Ostoff furthers this approach to explore a series of dialectical relationships: between light and shadow, presence and absence, proximity and distance; and more specifically, between notions of domestic space and the aesthetics of minimalist abstraction. As a compositional device in two-dimensional artwork, negative space is traditionally considered to be the space around, and between, the subject(s) of an image. Ostoff accentuates this device to an extreme, at times collapsing distinctions between positive and negative. In some paintings, pictorial information is pushed to the peripheries of the picture plane, and in others, the painted image appears veiled through the obscuring effects of glazing and over-painting. In others, thick daubs of crepuscular pigment are used to create a rich impastoed surface, which suggest cavities of deep recessional space.
Nicholas Ostoff was born in Los Gatos, California, and spent his formative years in Toronto, Canada. Ostoff received a BFA from OCAD in 1999, and an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2012. He has received numerous grants and fellowships, and his work has been reviewed in such Canadian periodicals as the Globe and Mail and Canadian Art Magazine. His work was recently included in group exhibitions at Zolla/Lieberman Gallery, Chicago (Making Space) and The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery, Toronto (More Than Two), along with a solo exhibition at Devening Projects, Chicago (Tracing). Ostoff is currently lives and works in Toronto, where he teaches at the University of Toronto and Ontario College of Art and Design University.