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Is It a Chair? Does It Matter? These Acrylic Sculptures Are Too Pretty to Sit On

“Is it a chair?” Australian artist John Nicholson wondered aloud on his own Instagram when posting photos of his latest series, Whale Vision, and it’s a valid question. Though Nicholson’s previous work has tended towards more two-dimensional, wall-mounted pieces — always in sheets of colorful plastic — these newer works step up almost to the edge of functional. Which might not be a complicating factor except for his chosen material: “Not only is plastic an extremely versatile material but it is also hugely culturally loaded,” Nicholson explains of his fascination with the oil-based sheets. “Its place in history will be discussed endlessly. Its early adopters viewed it as a material that could solve many problems and it might still do so, yet today we are forced to look at it in a different way.”  Loaded or not, Nicholson’s new pieces are fascinating to look at, pushing plastic to the limits of geometric abstraction, and with a palette inspired by the way spectrums of light are visualized.

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