March 21 – April 18, 2009 Reception for the artist: Saturday March 21st from 5 – 8pm
Western Project is pleased to present new large scale paintings by Los Angeles artist, Nancy Riegelman. As a master draftsman, Riegelman constructs formal images from body rhythms; the breath being the primary element. Working with a variety of pencils on canvas, the images are made up of consecutive and contiguous marks determined by the length of the breath. Ethereal and non objective, her marks float on white surfaces, referential to wave or seismic charts. Each composition is slowly and spontaneously built from her hand: “the finished work is the accretion – really a kind of aesthetic ‘stream of consciousness’ of thousands of separate gestures, each with its own aesthetic and emotional content”. What is remarkably different is the scale of her works. Just over five feet square, the canvases are oceans of graphite, layers and layers of lines creating a surgical composition of space. The physicality of the surfaces relates not only to the viewer’s eye but also to the body as a vastness simultaneously empty, and full.
An artist marking time is a discriminating act and a contemporary pursuit. Fueled by Einstein and quantum physics, artists such as Vito Acconci, Roman Opalka, On Kawara, or Joan Jonas have investigated the elements and illusion of time. Riegelman has created an important body of work in the tradition of these artists while also addressing Eastern influences from India and Japan. Her work is not a stylistic mode of formalism. Breath and movement become one event; the work is evidence, and more profoundly, a record of awareness and presence.
Riegelman has shown in Paris, France, Bombay, India, Seoul, Korea, at Art Center College of Art and Design, Pasadena, the Los Angeles County Art Museum, Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, Long Beach Museum, and many other galleries and museums through out the United States.