Phaidon’s monograph on the artist delves into color theory, graffiti culture, and the importance of perspective
“Nicolas Party’s work touches a nerve that is located in a region of our consciousness, beyond suggestion, influence and everyday conflicts,” writes the late curator Stefan Banz. “For Party does not force us to read his pastels and sculptures in a preordained way.”
It’s an excerpt from Nicolas Party—Phaidon’s comprehensive monograph on the ongoing career of the Swiss-born painter and sculptor. Banz carries on: “[Party’s work induces] a sense of being-with-ourselves that encourages us to see everything with totally fresh eyes, just as children do when they first encounter things, events and phenomena, artlessly and without filters and preconceptions.”
Throughout, the monograph echoes Banz’s initial sentiments: Party’s work has an energizing quality, an inherent ease, that’s evident in photographs and in the words of the book’s contributors—Ali Subotnick, Melissa Hyde, and Stéphane Aquin, alongside Banz. It provides detailed insight into the practice and motivations of the artist: In a transcribed interview, Party recalls his introduction to creative work—graffitiing bridges and trains in and around Lausanne—explains his affinity for dining culture, and discusses theories on color in the gallery space. The survey is further visually rich, containing hundreds of images of the Party’s studio, installation views, and pages from his personal sketchbook.
“Party is known for his distinctly personal yet accessible and recognizable imagery—bright, graphic patterns applied to canvases, sculptures, furniture, floors, ceilings, doorways, and walls,” reads Phaidon’s press release. “The resulting effect evokes a universe of fantastical characters and motifs where perspective is heightened and skewed—with uncanny results.”