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Nexus at Vero Beach Museum of Art

This painting, acquired by the Vero Beach Museum of Art in November 2014, is a kind of synthesis of Tim Sanchez’s work since the beginning of his career as an artist. “I’ve been working in this way since I got my MFA,” he says. “I started to use various methods designed specifically to confront the aggressiveness that is so typical of abstract expressionistic painting. I would introduce some element, some technique, even an object to provide an antithesis to the rawness. Often it would involve a large area of rest from the action.

“In ‘Nexus’ that antithesis takes the form of what I call a veil. It was the catalyst that transformed the painting into a more provocative yet contemplative object. It pulls the viewer into the picture plane because of the unexpected combination of styles. It creates a more diverse emotional and thought-provoking outcome.”

Vero Beach Museum of Art
Vero Beach Museum of Art

“Nexus” is composed of two distinct parts: the lower half roils with activity. “It’s very aggressive.” His signature squares – red or outlined in red – stabilize the area in competition with energized brush strokes that are almost calligraphic. His colors are bold, masculine.

In contrast, the painting’s upper half is calm, dominated by creamy whites and yellows. On a much deeper plane at the very top, dark blue space beckons us into the picture’s core. Light blue peeks through.

Beneath the veil we glimpse what could almost be a torii, the traditional Japanese gate found at the entrance of a Shinto shrine, where it symbolically marks the transition from the profane to the sacred.

It is precisely this kind of serendipitous mystery that seems to lie beneath the surface of “Nexus.” The action near the top has been filtered out. But it still there, almost visible.

One of the things that makes “Nexus” distinctive is the delicacy that infuses its otherwise biting abstract expressionism. It is lent by the glazing, the use of traditional technique in a non-objective way. The work overall is full of strength and decisive drawing. Yet it offers respite, moments of tranquility beyond the veil.

The Vero Beach Museum of Art is one of Florida’s most important mid-size museums. It provides cultural leadership and enrichment for the public through diverse exhibitions of high quality; the collection, preservation and presentation of important American and international works of art; and a wide variety of studio art, educational and humanities programs.