Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Nancy Grossman. The Edge Of Always. Constructions From The 1960s. Michael Rosenfeld Gallery.

For my 30th birthday the artist Nancy Grossman gave me a nice 9-¼” x12 ¼” sketchbook of good thick paper that I used to make nine paintings which I sometimes refer to as my “Nancy Paintings.” I mention this because I thought of them the other day as I viewed her fierce and beautiful show of some forty large assemblages and constructions from the 1960’s. These are superb pieces, large, abstract, dense  & aggressive (but not hostile) that are intricate and intimate but large in their scope and vision. Made from all sorts of discarded materials including scrap metal, saddles and harnesses (a fitting gift from David Smith) leather and other parts of clothing that Grossman then put together to make these amazing textured works that look like remnants of an industrial age plowed under.  Collaged, sewed, hammered and glued, bulging off their supports and sometimes extending out into real space. They also bring to mind the earth, death, sci-fi and destruction and are definitely of their Art World time and period, but are still relevant, brilliant and inspiring. The colors of the pieces are mostly dark browns with some reds, tans and an occasional touch of color (a bright blue might appear) and one can even see figurative shadows lurking in these ruins. They also prefigure her most famous works of sexually charged heads and bodies made of wood and wrapped in leather that she would do in the late 60’s and 70’s and for which she is most known for, but its these early mysterious works that interest me the most. This terrific show will be up until July 3rd.


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