Sandra Gering Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of work by Nancy Dwyer from 4 March through 8 April 2006.
Nancy Dwyer's new work - Deep, Deep, Deeper, Down [2005-06]- explores terrain which at first glance seems to be familiar territory for the artist: the visually evocative power of the isolated word conceived in virtual space and executed in a diverse range of materials. What is strikingly new in this body of work is the tightly focused investigation of interconnected and interdependent images (words) that, though virtually mediated, operate as traditional art forms.
Richly colored prints dovetail as diagrams for sculptures constructed like children's building blocks of untreated wood, or manipulated plaster. The sculptures in turn support other ways of looking at the paintings whose frescoed surfaces both contrast and re-enforce illusionistic perspectives articulated within the silhouettes of the words they depict. Viewed as a whole, Dwyer's exhibit underlines the tension which can be generated between surface and depth, allusion and illusion, form and meaning, simplicity and complexity.
The varied dimensional states in which the words exist in the evolution of their design calls into question the relationship of object to its representation. This destabilization of what is "real" or "original" corresponds to the slippage of meaning that can happen when a word is de-contextualized and treated as an object of contemplation. Sometimes what is literal is not so clear.
By playfully drawing the viewer across a spectrum of word meanings, from flat depiction to fully dimensional rendering, Dwyer revisits modernist issues of objecthood' and art'. However, it would be a mistake to view her new paintings as specific object', or even signs', just as it would be misleading to view the work solely as extensions of the formalist concerns of modernism. Her work falls somewhere in between those two poles.
Also included in the exhibition is a large-scale digital image, Entitled To What, both a meditation on acquisition and a broader cultural comment. It consists of 830 individual images all pulled off the internet representing a sort of generalized autobiographical collection of things shopped for. The empty spaces in the grid of images reveal the title (ironically in a typeface of absence) in a sort of perceptual puzzle that mimics the emotional state of wanting or desire.