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Nancy Macko: Hive Moments, Works On Paper at Commissary Arts
Nancy Macko, In the Garden of the Bee Priestess: Cornucopia (edition 25), 2006, Aquatint and spit bite on Rives cream BFK, 31 3/8 X 23 5/8 ²

VENICE, CA.- Commissary Arts is pleased to announce Nancy Macko: Hive Moments featuring prints and mixed media works on paper on view through June 14, 2008.

For the last decade, Macko has drawn upon images from the honey bee society to explore the relationships between art, science, technology and ancient matriarchal cultures through her visual references to the . Her work combines the analog elements of painting and printmaking with the digital elements of photography and video to create hybrid pieces that are often displayed as mixed media/digital installations.

For this exhibition, Macko presents two suites of recent etchings and lithographs, entitled In the Garden of the Bee Priestess and The First Ten Prime Numbers, and unique mixed media works on paper from the series Conversations. In these works, Macko employs what have become universal motifs in her work—the plumb bob (a weight with a pointed tip on the bottom used to determine verticality), and the page reinforcement. The ambiguous rotund shape of the plumb bob suggests the female form, while the circular page reinforcement becomes a collective structural symbol that clusters and floats through her compositions.

“The page reinforcement carries, of course, associations that are both utilitarian (homework in a loose-ring binder) and abstract (the cipher, the letter, the orb, the circle within the circle),” writes Patricia Albers in the curator’s statement to Macko’s 2005 exhibition Counterparts: Art From Mathematics, Peninsula Museum of Art, Belmont, California. “At the same time, its shape is—a second surprise—so profoundly satisfying as to evoke a line from poet Edna St. Vincent Millay: ‘Euclid alone has looked on Beauty bare.’ ”

Conversations avec Oeillet (eyelets): earth, air, fire, water, 2003, four of the unique mixed media works in the exhibition, use a color palette of vinyl decals in the form of the circular page reinforcement and handprinting. These works reference the visual dialog Macko observed among the fallen leaves on the footpath of the bois d’amour (forest of love) in Pont Aven, Brittany. This non-verbal dialog “speaks” visually at the same time expressing her awareness of feeling culturally isolated and verbally limited during a 4-month residency in France in 2003.

This is Macko’s first solo exhibition following her 2007 mid-career survey show, The Hive Universe: Nancy Macko, 1994-2006, at the Municipal Art Gallery in Barnsdall Park, Los Angeles.

Commissary Arts is located at 68 N. Venice Boulevard, Venice, CA 90291. Gallery hours are Thursday and Friday, 12-5pm, Saturdays 12-6pm, and by appointment. For additional information or to request visual material, please contact the gallery at (310) 990-9914, or email

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