Locks Gallery is pleased to present Synecdoche, an exhibition of paintings, drawings, and prints by Nancy Graves (1939–1995) on view December 6th, 2013 through January 30th, 2014. There will be an opening reception for the exhibition on Friday, December 6th, from 5:30 to 7:30 pm. A catalog of the works will accompany the exhibition.
In Synecdoche, a collection of rarely seen works from the late 1970s will be exhibited in the first and third floor galleries. This exhibition examines a unique period of gestural abstractions in greater depth—work that expands on explorations of perception and visual representation central to Graves’s art. With renewed interest in her career in light of a major retrospective in Germany, Locks Gallery is honored to continue a relationship that began in 1991 and has brought to light important contributions of her artistic legacy.
During the earlier half of the decade, Graves strayed from the dominant Conceptual, Minimal, and Pop Art movements and devoted her studio practice to visual research of scientific imaging. Based on a rigorous exploration of satellite maps, lunar photography, animal motion studies, fossils, and scientific illustrations, she quickly moved towards her own signature abstract language over the course of the decade. Within the few exhibitions these pieces appeared at during her lifetime, two of the paintings in her Lunar Orbiter Series from this period were exhibited at Documenta 6 in 1977. Synecdoche offers an opportunity to examine others in the series for the first time in decades, alongside her accompanying prints and drawings.
The two-dimensional works in Synecdoche represent a calligraphic exploration of these spatial abstractions; this nonrepresentational vocabulary would soon complicate itself into her densely layered works of the 1980s. In the 1977 etching series from which the show is titled, Graves reinterpreted her own 1972 lithograph series based on lunar maps that she translated into abstract pointillism. Referencing both her own work and the scientific image culture she immersed herself in, Graves explored our own perception of images and the world around us. Hailed by critics as subversive when she first exhibited her large life-like camels in the late ‘60s, Graves would later respond that the subversion in her work was “only an effort to change the way in which we see”.
Graves was a prolific artist, moving fluidly between two-dimensional, three-dimensional, and time-based works. Most notably, she was the youngest woman to receive a solo exhibition at the Whitney Museum in 1969. Currently on view, a major retrospective of her work opened at the Ludwig Forum for International Art in Aachen, Germany, accompanied by an extensive scholarly catalog published by Hatje Cantz.
Nancy Graves (1939–1995) earned her MFA from Yale University in 1964. One-person exhibitions of her work have been organized at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY; Whitney Museum of Art, NY; The Fort Worth Art Museum, TX; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.; Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, MO; Brooklyn Museum of Art, NY and Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia, PA. Graves is represented in the collections of major public institutions including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY; National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, Canada; Museum of Modern Art, NY; Whitney Museum of Art, NY; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, CA; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.; and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL. Catalogue raisonnes have been published on her printed work (1996) and sculpture (1987). Locks Gallery previously exhibited her work in 1991, 1996, 2005, and 2009.
Locks Gallery is located at 600 Washington Square South in Philadelphia, PA. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 10 am to 6 pm. For additional information, please contact Locks Gallery at 215.629.1000 voice, 215.629.3868 fax, or [email protected].