Pullman artist Nicole Taflinger’s work is a combination of how she interprets art. Her style ranges from abstract to classical oil paintings of birds or flowers.
A retrospective collection displaying 60 years of Taflinger’s art is on display at the Bank Left Gallery in Palouse. The exhibit includes 30 paintings, some of which have never been shown to the public.
“Her art is really involves you,” said Nelson Duran, director and artist at the Bank Left Gallery. “It kind of pulls you in. We just had the exhibit put together and people were even crying looking at her art. It’s just that powerful.”
Taflinger was born in France, but moved to the U.S. after the Nazi occupation of France. She was one of the first people to have an art gallery in Pullman, which she owned from the 1960s to the 1990s.
“Something that makes her so important is she fused WSU with art,” Duran said. “She took visitors from WSU to the gallery. That was very strange at the time because she was a private entity and usually universities don’t associate themselves with private entities, but that’s how important her gallery was.”
Duran said Taflinger’s gallery closed down in the mid-90s after the building burned down in a fire. Though she reopened the gallery in a different building, it no longer brought people the same feeling they got with the old gallery, so she chose to finally close shop, Duran said.
Taflinger held an artist’s reception Saturday afternoon during the gallery’s annual Mom’s Weekend Chocolate Tasting and lunch.
Duran said Taflinger is a WSU alumnus and retired faculty member. He said people who visit WSU, like the mothers on Mom’s Weekend, can share her connection to the university.
WSU mom Mary Cornell said she enjoyed the variety expressed in Taflinger’s artwork.
“(The paintings) are quite impressive,” she said. “It is interesting that some were kind of dark. There’s a lot more depth to them than is apparent. You almost have to step back to look at them.”
Cornell’s daughter, Maggie Cornell, said she didn’t attend the gallery’s Mom’s Weekend event specifically for the exhibit, but liked viewing Taflinger’s paintings.
“I like the brighter paintings,” she said. “The themes are cool. I like the birds and flowers.”
Duran said most of Taflinger’s paintings are rare pieces that deserve attention.
“She has beautiful paintings, but they are powerful at the same time,” Duran said. “I even had tears in my eyes. That makes it relevant to us, because it’s not just art that is beautiful, but it has a feeling.”
"A Retrospective: 60 Years of Art" will be on display through May 12.