Bellevue Arts Museum to present first exhibition in the Northwest for Chicago artist Nicole Gordon

September 11, 2019
Images: Nicole Gordon, Spin Cycle (2016), Who Left the Kettle On? (2016), Finishing Touches (2015)

September 11, 2019
Contact: Emilie Smith
Phone: 425.519.0755
[email protected]


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Nicole Gordon: Altered States is on view at Bellevue Arts Museum January 24 – June 14, 2020

Bellevue, WA—Bellevue Arts Museum is delighted to present—for the first time in the Northwest—the art of Chicago-based painter Nicole Gordon. Altered States, which opens at BAM on January 24, 2020, demonstrates the breadth of Gordon’s surrealist vision through large-scale paintings, sculpture, and installations. 

The exhibition will present a suite of new paintings by Gordon. A painter of hallucinatory lucidity and skill, Gordon’s large-scale canvases meticulously depict a liquid dreamscape of all-too-solid fantasy. Drawn from post-surrealist archetypal images of wood-paneled rooms, pensive children, deserted carnival rides, or empty urban landscapes, her compositions are then seemingly run through super-saturated sci-fi, skate-punk, and psychedelic filters.

Altered States will also feature sculptures and installations created by Gordon, inspired by selected past works. Pulling imagery directly from her paintings, these installations invite viewers to experience her two-dimensional works in entirely new ways.

Gordon’s versions of our reality are continuously fluid—past, present, and post-human future intermingling with a primal and pre-conscious state. In surrendering to the luxury of these images, we are invited to take a new look at the universally accepted conventions that underpin our reality, and wonder, not for the first time, whether the greatest artists need not paint what is real, but only what is true.



Nicole Gordon (b. 1976) studied at the Lorenzo de’ Medici University in Florence, Italy and received her BFA from the University of Michigan. Her richly colored, hyperreal canvases explore the tension that exists between the artificial and the real. Thematically, the surrender to the loss of personal space is a recurring subject of her work, which she depicts through her unforgettable style and phenomenal craftsmanship. Gordon is represented by the Corey Helford Gallery in Los Angeles, CA.

Nicole Gordon: Altered States is organized by Bellevue Arts Museum and curated by Benedict Heywood. Exhibition sponsored by Perkins Coie. Media sponsor: KCTS 9. In-kind support from Seattle SignShop.



Bellevue Arts Museum provides a public forum for the community to contemplate, appreciate, and discuss visual culture. We work with audiences, artists, makers, and designers to understand our shared experience of the world.