Pace Prints is pleased to present Land of Illusion, an exhibition of work by Nicola López, including a series of new unique collages and editioned works. Produced at Pace Editions, Ink and Jo Watanabe Studio in Brooklyn, NY, this is López’s third exhibition with Pace Prints. An opening reception will be held Thursday April 25, 6-8pm.
Land of Illusion reflects Nicola López’s continued interest in describing place and her exploration of our constructed landscape. Although López’s imagery is often drawn from personal experience, the works in the show do not reference any specific time or location. Instead, her works are an exploration of the process of creation, permanence and ephemerality and of building, itself. López’s landscapes are in a constant state of transformation. Just as each collaged work evolved organically as it was built from printed elements, the imagery shows an architectural world that is ever moving between growth and decay, teetering on the border between fantastical possibility and dystopian vision.
The works in Land of Illusion draw on various methods of printmaking, such as etching, relief and monotype, as well as detailed layers of collage. In her series of reduction woodblock prints entitled The Sum of All the Parts, López uses the medium to layer texture and color as she describes the rusting surfaces of I-beams and the very joints of construction. These works reflect a new focus on the details of the constructed landscape, zooming in so closely on the nuts and bolts that hold things together that the sense of overall structure and order is lost. This same sense of fragility and disconnection is present in Bones, a series of collaged works that depict the internal, skeletal structures of buildings. Seen in terms of the buildings they represent, Bones are impossibly tall. At the same time, most of the works are roughly human-size in actual scale and can be seen as phantoms that shift between body and architecture. Façade,, the largest work in the show, is an impenetrable urban wall that then dissolves in certain areas to reveal extreme fragility. Cut-out windows turn into a fine layer of lace and the whole construction is paper thin despite the hulking weight of the layers of imagery of buildings stacked upon buildings stacked upon buildings.
Although disconnection and alienation hover around many of the pieces in the show, López’s work never shuts the viewer out. The possibility of human connection is presented in the physicality of craft, the exposure of process and the strong presence of the artist’s hand throughout.
On April 30th, a new long term site-specific installation by López commissioned by the Metropolitan Museum of Art will open in the recently inaugurated Balcony Lounge. The work is titled Un-building Things.
Nicola López was born in Sante Fe, NM and now lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. She attended Columbia University in New York, NY, where she received her BA in 1998 and her MFA in 2004, and currently teaches at Bard College in Annandale-On-Hudson, New York. Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally in cities and countries including New York, Los Angeles, Buenos Aires, Mexico, Peru and Germany.