Posted on Fri, Nov. 19, 2004

Edward J. Sozanski

Philadelphia Inquirer Senior Art Critic

 

Nature Refreshed

 

What Nic Coviello does in his exhibition at the Nexus Gallery has been done before in many variations, yet his multimedia prints, drawings and photographs reveal a fresh eye for the subject matter and an innovative way of communicating his feelings about it.

 

Coviello's basic material is botanical specimens - things like leaves, branches and clusters of pine needles. One can't always identify the images precisely, but the spirit of nature, particularly of regeneration, is always apparent.

 

He uses these materials both as themselves, in a series of 12 small aluminum panels coated with polymer, and as motifs in inkjet photographs, prints and, most expressively, in a suite of eight large drawings that are illuminated from behind.

 

The show consists of four suites of work that contrast not only in size but in graphic effect. The small specimens are like reliefs, then come a series of 12 dark, moody photographs, then the prints and finally the drawings, the most flamboyant expressions of natural renewal.

 

The show reads as much like an installation as a group of individual works, with the effect building to a crescendo. Coviello's first solo effort as a new member of the Nexus cooperative is lively, thoughtful and impressive.