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Nini Lion
Nini Lion
Mill Valley, California


www.ninilion.com
nini@ninilion.com
 
 

I have always been intrigued by faces—their character and attitude. My early portraits, in pastel, ink, or graphite, convey an edgy moodiness, a sense of solitude or longing. In these figurative works I give form to an internal state of mind.

Later I began to experiment with color and composition, adding metallic gouache to the paintings and cropping the figure to focus on a gesture or moment rather than the whole. These drawings and gestures, taken from life, became the foundation for my abstract paintings.

Comparing the figurative and abstract work can be informative. In the abstracts, you may find an echo of the figure in a line or shape. What was background in the portraits may become the subject of the abstract paintings: pure color, form, line, shape, texture.

Sometimes the line brings out the figure; at other times, the line is meant to obscure the figure, drawing the viewer to other planes and images, offering alternate focal points as the light shifts during the day or night.

My sculptures often explore the body from the inside: its bones and muscles. The challenges of my own body inspired some of this work. “Self-portrait 2005” was inspired by the x-rays of my bone-on-bone arthritic knee joint.

In “Flayed” I explore what lies beneath the skin, a sculpture of the vertebrae. I see the female body composed of pear shapes: breasts, buttocks, belly. In my series “Pyriforma” the pears become abstract, so that they evoke this recurring female shape.

Some of my smaller ceramic works are called “dreammakers,” soothing shapes that can be held in the hand to alleviate stress or worry.

In all of my work, I use color and shape, line and gesture, to animate these figures and forms--to infuse them with the energy of life.

 


 
 

 

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