ClampArt is pleased to announce “Lori Nix/Kathleen Gerber | Empire.” Though Nix and Gerber have been working collaboratively for over sixteen years, this is the first exhibition at ClampArt to credit both artists equally for their imagery.
From 2005-2013 Nix and Gerber worked meticulously on their series entitled “The City,” which largely pictured apocalyptic interiors. For their new work they have moved “outdoors” depicting what remains of extensive landscapes and cityscapes after mysterious, unexplained catastrophic events. They write: Landscapes are more than a visual record of an environment. They also capture the emotional, sometimes spiritual, essence of a place. ‘Empire’ presents a world transformed by climate uncertainty and a shifting social order as it stumbles towards a new kind of frontier. These places are eerily beautiful but also unsettling in their stillness and silence. Long ago man entered the landscape and forced nature to his will. Once grand and emblematic of strength and prosperity, these landscapes now appear abused and in decay, and it is uncertain how they will continue to (d)evolve.
In order to create their disastrous scenarios, Nix and Gerber painstakingly construct intricate dioramas in their Brooklyn studio which are then carefully lighted and photographed. The obsessive process requires patience and precision and is particularly slow-going, with only a few artworks produced each year. The nine large-scale photographic prints in this exhibition represent four years of work.
Lori Nix and Kathleen Gerber are both originally from the American Midwest. Their miniature fake landscapes and interiors reflect a love of science fiction and dystopian entertainment (think “Blade Runner,” “Planet of the Apes,” “Logan’s Run”), an appreciation for great architecture, and an affinity with the Sublime painters of the Hudson River School. Their images of faux landscapes and gritty urban interiors have gained wide acclaim in both the U.S. and Europe, and Nix is a 2014 Guggenheim Fellow in photography. Their work is represented in the permanent collections of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas; George Eastman House, Rochester, New York; Worcester Art Museum, Worcester, Massachusetts; Spencer Museum of Art, University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas; Harvard Business School, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts; Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, Overland Park, Kansas; Middlebury College Museum of Art, Middlebury, Vermont; El Paso Museum of Art, El Paso, Texas; deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, Lincoln, Massachusetts; Girls’ Club Collection, Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Henry Art Gallery, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington; University of Maine Museum of Art, Bangor, Maine; Chase Manhattan Bank, New York City; Progressive Insurance, Cleveland, Ohio; Dow Jones & Company, New York City; Fidelity Insurance, Chicago, Illinois; Wellington Management, Boston, Massachusetts; Microsoft, Seattle, Washington; and the HBC Global Art Collection, New York City; among many others.