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Natural reflections


Nic Coviello’s prints and layered multimedia pieces are based on botanical forms.

The work showing at Nexus, , 38 pieces in all, had several different approaches–including blank-ink prints, installations with photos and prints, and small reliquaries of nature.

It was the black-ink prints that interested me most, with their dark, inky zones that suggested light and shadow, pools and leaves, and their less-than-literal approach to traces of nature (top, “Nest,” carborundum relief on BFK).


Tiny reliquaries –framed rectangles of aluminum covered with photo emulsion and paint, and then topped with natural artifacts — were delicate–and too close to one another. But the markings on the aluminum, sometimes brushy, sometimes puddly, sometimes scratchy, sometimes reflective, held my interest. They implied the critical value of the parts of the plant for its survival(one of 12 in “Relica” series, acrylic, photopolymer and potanical objects on aluminum).

Coviello, who used to show at Gross-McCleaf, took a break from the gallery scene for a while, but is now at Nexus. He teaches at the University of Pennsylvania.

Here’s another response to Coviello’s work from Sanja Benjak, one of Colette Copeland’s students at Penn:

Coviello uses a variety of media to capture nature. He uses some of his photographs as a basis for his drawings. One of the photographs that really caught my attention was the one where Coviello made me wonder if the leaves are floating in water or if they’re up in the sky.

Some of the drawings (left) use light to create shadows the way sunlight creates shadows in the woods.

Many of his drawings have real leaves or twigs included that seem to suffer by being surrounded by the different media.