Nickson, Graham. Red Towel

Graham Nickson Red Towel c. 1990
Graham Nickson, Red Towel, c. 1990

Artist: Graham Nickson (British, b. 1946)

Title: Red Towel


Date: c. 1990

Dimensions: 37 1/2” x 73 1/2”

Location in Library: Third floor

Media: Acrylic on canvas

Owner: Brooklyn College Library Collection


A solitary figure holds up a beach towel in a grassy field, under a blazing sun. Nickson intensifies the foreground of this painting with the complimentary colors of green and red, as he purposefully contrasts its vertical and horizontal planes. Subtle details add interest: a blue hue of the sky is repeated in the sunbather’s shadow on the grass, while her taut, muscular body is outlined in darker red on the towel.

The banal action of Nickson’s sunbather is imbued with mystery, as the artist seeks “a vehicle for the human figure in a very particular environment, as a metaphor for a larger range of human experience.”

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