NEW YORK, N.Y.-
As part of Intervals, an ongoing series, the Guggenheim Museum
presents Brooklyn-based artist Nicola López with a site-specific sculptural collage environment in the rotunda, titled Landscape X: Under Construction, on view October 1125, 2011. Conceived to reflect the spirit of todays most innovative practices, Intervals invites a diverse range of artists to create new work for the interstitial spaces of the museum, in individual galleries, or beyond the physical confines of the building. This exhibition marks Lópezs first solo institutional presentation in New York. Intervals: Nicola López is organized by Helen Hsu, Assistant Curator, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum.
Nicola López (b. 1975, Santa Fe, New Mexico) creates sculptural forms and environmental installations with woodblock-printed elements, often constructed out of Mylar. For her Intervals project, she engages the Tyvek scrim that temporarily encloses and conceals the atrium of the Frank Lloyd Wrightdesigned Guggenheim Museum. The site-specific intervention of Landscape X plays with the conditions of anticipation and imminence by appropriating the visual vocabulary of construction sites. Orange danger barriers, chain-link fencing, and barbed wire are translated via woodblocks that have been carved with irregularities and distortions and printed on pliable materials. The cacophony of forms, including other citations of urban infrastructure, not only signals the hidden activity, but also presents flux and process as phases to contemplate.
The devices of containment, separation, and definition are repurposed to alter our spatial experience. Landscape X encourages trespassing, or straying into the wrong lane, providing a visual field that leads the eye from wall to ceiling to floor. Simulated road markings, contorted in response to the architecture, defy organization. Combining printed elements with light industrial materials, López composes images inspired by the abstracted aerial view of cityscapes, capturing the quasi-scientific element of urban planning frequently described by the physiological metaphor of veins and arteries. López utilizes extension cords, lights, and tape to draw and sculpt. Negative spaces cut from printed Mylar fencing, retaining halos of pigment, punctuate the transition between two levels. Another section traces every edge of the existing architecture with blue painters tape, paying homage while exploring the buildings idiosyncrasies and overlooked details.
Landscape X invites the viewer to embark on a journey. Whether the route is ascending, descending, or takes a more haphazard course, all signs encourage the consideration of place and space, the movement of ones body through the site, and the ways in which our surroundings are organized. López has created a situation where the exterior floods the interior, the grid invades the spiral, and distortion trumps order.
Nicola López lives and works in Brooklyn. She received a BA in anthropology in 1998 and an MFA in 2004 from Columbia University. She also attended the Skowhegan School for Painting and Sculpture in Maine. López received an MFA Graduate Award from the Joan Mitchell Foundation in 2004 and completed residencies at the Headlands Center for the Arts, Sausalito, California (2006) and La Curtiduría, Oaxaca, Mexico (2007 and 2009). Her works have been included in The (S) Files/The Selected Files, El Museo del Barrio, New York (2005); The Orpheus Selection, P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, Long Island City (2007); Phantom Sightings, Los Angeles County Museum of Art (2008);Embrace!, Denver Art Museum (2009); and the Next Wave Festival, Brooklyn Academy of Music (2009). The solo exhibition Nicola López: Urban Transformations was presented at the Chazen Museum, Madison, Wisconsin (2009) and Mesaros Galleries, West Virginia University, Morgantown (2010). In 2011, López had solo presentations at Arróniz Arte Contemporáneo, Mexico City, and Pace Prints, New York.