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Nikki Maloof


Nikki Maloof — Born 1985, Peoria, Illinois. Lives and works in South Hadley, Massachusetts. Represented by Jack Hanley Gallery, New York; and Nino Mier Gallery, Brussels/Cologne/Los Angeles.

Nikki Maloof’s portraits of imagined animals explore the potential of paint and figuration to convey emotions. Although her work is figurative, the artist’s practice is more process-driven as she coaxes her paint to find the exact moment where color, line, and gesture cohere as an expression of psychic or emotional energy. A colorful setting suffuses many of her paintings, creating a warm palette and feeling for her emotional avatars. In other works, she returns to historical paintings, such as those by Courbet, reinventing figures from realist, historical, or allegorical scenes to home in on specific emotions or interior lives, often projecting what their lives would be like in a contemporary setting.


The integration of gaudy and garish patterns create optical movements that are designed to instill anxiety in the viewer, and whereas Maloof's compositions are shallow, depth is created through these complex, rolling patterns. For Maloof, “pattern” is like a third character in her paintings, and while color and subject are important to the artist, the dominant patterns attribute to the overwhelming psychological feeling of the works.


Maloof received her Bachelor’s degree in Fine Art from Indiana University in 2008, and Master’s of Fine Art in Painting from Yale University in 2011. The artist has received several awards, most recently the Helen W. Winternitz Award in Painting and Printmaking, and the Gloucester Landscape Prize. She has had solo exhibitions with, among others, Nino Mier Gallery, Los Angeles; and Jack Hanley Gallery, New York. Recent group exhibitions include What Did I Know of Your Days: Danielle Orchard and Nikki Maloof , V1 Gallery, Copenhagen; 36 Paintings, Harper's, East Hampton; and Animal Kingdom, Alexander Berggruen, New York.


Bad Girls 2021 - Featured Work

Nikki Maloof - Little Bat with Golden Wings, 2017.jpg


Little Bat with Golden Wings, 2017

oil on canvas

40.6 x 58.4 cm - 16 x 23 inches


Not for sale.

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