A painter and installation artist, Nixon graduated from the National Gallery School, Melbourne in 1970, and began travelling and exhibiting in Europe and America. Since then, he has developed a significant exhibition history in Australia, New Zealand, Europe, and the United States. Nixon has been the subject of several major surveys, and as well as his international profile, Nixon has been regularly exhibiting in New Zealand since 1984. During that time he has developed a working practice with several New Zealand artists, in particular, Julian Dashper, Stephen Bambury, Milan Mrkusich and Gordon Walters.
In 1997 he held five exhibitions in New Zealand, including the ten-year survey, EP + OW at the City Gallery, Wellington. The trans-Tasman connection is an important focus, which has resulted in an extensive holding of his work in major New Zealand public art collections including Auckland Art Gallery (Auckland, New Zealand), and the Chartwell Collection (Auckland). His latest paintings see him extending his interest in the various acts and meanings associated with, and derived from, notions of ordering and categorising.