Nick Goss – Smickel Inn (Hardback)
Smickel Inn is a publication of works by London-based Anglo-Dutch artist Nick Goss, produced by Ingleby, Edinburgh, and co-published with Matthew Brown, Los Angeles, and Anomie Publishing, London. Along with around sixty plates and illustrations, the publication features an essay by writer, journalist and critic Hettie Judah, and an in-conversation between Goss, fellow painter Michael Armitage and writer Thomas Marks. ‘Smickel Inn is a real place in an unreal place,’ writes Judah, ‘a snack bar on an outer extremity of the port of Rotterdam.’ It’s a venue that is popular with port workers and sailors – a clientele of regular and transitory people often involved in sea freight or oil shipping, though their lives, personalities and stories are largely played out in Goss’s mixed-media paintings through the bar’s interior décor: an old vase with fresh flowers, a stack of glass ashtrays, a well-worn piano with a pile of books on top, an eclectic selection of picture frames with faded scenes and a clock that might only be right twice a day. Filtered through Goss’s imagination, Smickel Inn carries its history with it, much of it decorating the countertop; it’s a venue that charms with its informality – a place that knows itself, and its disparate customers. In real life, the bar has a cinematic view of the port and the North Sea, translated here, through Goss’s creative process of painting and silk-screening, into a scene from an engraving of seventeenth-century Sicily. Fragments from different places and eras infiltrate his images, creating a patina of palimpsests, visual echoes, perhaps, of memories of travellers coming through the port.The body of work takes us around the wider Dutch coastline and beyond – we see passengers on foot disembarking a ferry, have a backseat view of a car ride around the village of Stavenisse, and join a night-time campfire on the beach at Scheveningen, among other more mysterious, if not abstruse, locations and scenarios. Observation from contemporary life mingles with visual culture spanning centuries and continents in Goss’s oeuvre, creating lyrical yet strangely haunting and melancholic paintings, trapped in time somewhere between personal experience and collective memory.Nick Goss is an Anglo-Dutch painter, born in Bristol in 1981. He studied first at the Slade School of Art (2002–06) and then at the Royal Academy Schools, London (2006–09). He has exhibited widely in Europe and America, including solo exhibitions with Josh Lilley, London, Matthew Brown, Los Angeles, Simon Preston, New York, and Contemporary Fine Arts, Berlin. His first institutional survey, Morley’s Mirror, was presented in 2019 at Pallant House, Chichester, UK. Smickel Inn is published to coincide with Goss’s first exhibition at Ingleby, Edinburgh, in the autumn of 2023.