Project Description

Vestibule: Solitaire and the Unknown

Artist: Nickolaus Typaldos | Curator: Tamar Monhait
May 6th, 2011 – May 29th, 2011

“…imagine having to sketch a sharply defined picture ‘corresponding’ to a blurred one. In the latter there is a blurred red rectangle: for it you put down a sharply defined one. Of course – several such sharply defined rectangles can be drawn to correspond to the indefinite one. – But if the colours in the original merge without a hint of any outline won’t it become a hopeless task to draw a sharp picture corresponding to the blurred one? Won’t you then have to say: “Here I might just as well draw a circle or heart as a rectangle, for all the colours merge. Anything – and nothing – is right.” (Wittgenstein, Philosophical Investigations, 36)

Situated between the sentimental and the sublime, Nickolaus Typaldos’ installation, Solitaire and the Unknown explores the complexities that layer our individual and collective experience in an enigmatic universe. Through the interplay of various media, Typaldos creates an atmosphere that contemplates how transience, perception, and context play into humankind’s search for meaning. His interaction of video, sculpture, drawings, photographs and architecture form a dialogue that engages the fascinating absurdity of our individual navigation and understanding of the human condition.

The central piece in the installation is a video comprised of 365 snapshots of sunsets collected from various internet sources. The acquisition and arrangement of these pictures ranging from generic landscapes to vestiges of personal moments simultaneously evoke cliche banality and genuine sincerity. As one image dissolves into another, so do the differences between them. Their opposing significations blend to foment an experience simultaneously filled up and emptied out of meaning. This video becomes a sculptural element through its integration into Typaldos’ treatment of the architecture.

Walls are constructed to both divide the space and connect the elements of the installation. His design creates a long narrow hallway, reminiscent of Bruce Nauman’s corridors from the 1970’s, leading to the back of the space. This tight passage enforces a solitary, liminal experience on the viewer and delivers them to a back room where a sculpture of a table and what appears to be a silhouette of a bouquet of flowers sits.

The black and white wall pieces in the show share a similar tone conveying absence and presence. The overt symbolic imagery of his large black acrylic works on paper sourced from photos found in advertisements and auction house catalogs link them to the Vanitas tradition of Dutch still-life painting of the 1600’s (though through a more current lens involving tokens of the middle-class). The long exposure photographs of light and shadow taken in the artist’s apartment show distortions and point toward confusion between what is actual and what is perceived. Through the interchange of elements in the exhibition, Typaldos explores the curious circumstances that are common to our individual experiences in a world composed of concurrently inherent and mutable differences.

“Nickolous Typaldos: Giving perception a working over” –John Motely, Oregonian (May 19, 2011)



Nickolaus Typaldos was born in 1978 in Springfield, Missouri and currently lives and works in New York City. He received his BFA in Intermedia from Pacific Northwest College of Art in 2007, and his MFA in Studio Art from New York University in 2009. His art practice is multi-disciplinary and centers around collage. His work has been featured in group exhibitions at The Portland Art Center, Portland, OR; The International Print Center, New York; Chelsea Art Museum, New York; Leonard Pearlstein Gallery,  Philadelphia; Seoul Art Space, Korea; and Peres Projects, Berlin.



The Vestibule is an independent project space dedicated to showing dynamic contemporary art. We are primarily interested in site-specific installations, collaborations, and any other original ideas that execute the space in exciting ways. The gallery is housed within Disjecta in North Portland and was established in December 2009.