Nicolás Fernández

Installation view from left to right: Lucie Stahl, "Schwarze Pumpe 2," 2016, "Sourcerer," 2015, "Excavator (Ausgräber)," 2016, "Schwarze Pumpe 3," 2016, and "Vattenfall’s Chance," 2016; courtesy Lucie Stahl; Nicolás Fernández, "Everything needs its own absence," 2014–15; courtesy Nicolás Fernández; åyr "ARCHITECTURE," 2016; courtesy åyr; Project Native Informant, London; photo: Timo Ohler

* 1968 in Geneva, CH, lives and works in Geneva, CH

Painter Nicolás Fernández might well be said to have had two artistic careers. Initially associated with the Net Art movements of the 1990s, he began to paint over the course of a long-term illness and eventually made his first iPhone paintings—images depicting family relationships, children, and parents. Everything needs its own absence is the 9th Berlin Biennale’s only traditional oil painting. In a literal inversion of a nursing Madonna, a mother and child are depicted in an Eden-like scene of lush vegetation steeped in a post-natural green. Sourced from a viral photo of a yoga teacher, the work typifies how Fernández abstracts his figures from internet images, advertising, posters found on the street, or his own photographs—and uses the eroticism and ideality of his nudes to add a layer of the sublime to the visual feed of our lives.

List of works

Installation view of Everything needs its own absence, 2014–15, courtesy Nicolás Fernández, photo: Timo Ohler
Everything needs its own absence, 2014–15

Oil on canvas
Courtesy Nicolás Fernández