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Trained in London during the 1980s, Nicola Tyson is now based in New York, where she staged her first solo show in 1994. Tyson describes her work as 'psycho-figuration' through which she examines issues of identity, gender and sexuality. She depicts mainly solitary female figures, typically set against minimal or flatly painted backgrounds. Often these figures begin as self-portraits that are then contorted into androgynous beings. With Curtain Figure, the title may suggest a veiling of the female body. Yet the physical presence has been radically metamorphosed beyond fixed sexual identity. Nicola Tyson's work signals the return to painting as an expressive medium among the generation of artists who emerged in the 1990s.

August 2004