Stop by the FLAG Art Foundation in New York this fall, and it may feel like you’ve stepped into the past. As in three centuries ago past. It’s the effect of “Nicolas Party: Pastel,” which runs through February 15, 2020, and features four enormous murals by the young artist along with a dozen other works by the likes of Mary Cassatt, Edgar Degas, Loie Hollowell, and Chris Ofili, all either from or inspired by the Rococo period—and all in soft pastel.
Conceived as a complete artwork, the environment spreads over two floors of the nonprofit contemporary-art institution, with built-in arches transforming the spaces and every room awash in Party’s signature saturated hues. In order for the pastels to remain intact, Party created and hand-applied a special wall primer that rendered the expanses tacky and rough, like sandpaper. Among his murals, one the largest he’s ever done in this medium, is his vibrant fruit drawing layered with Jean-Baptiste Perronneau’s 18th-century portrait of a woman. Party, who just received the 2019 Inspiration Award from RxART, a nonprofit that commissions installations by contemporary artists for children’s hospitals around the U.S. and Canada, is currently working on his next solo show at Xavier Hufkens gallery in Brussels.
Watch a time-lapse video of the installation below: