Optical illusions may bring back fun childhood memories, but they actually are a branch of art that expands into the adult world. Renowned artist and curator Jenene Nagy became interested in this art form while researching artist Peter Halley for one of the projects she was curating in New York. The interest of illusions formed in Nagy’s fascination with Halley’s work combined with her long-standing interest in labor, as in farming or ditch digging, led to her Measure exhibition. Nagy best describes the works below:
“By examining paintings by the artist Peter Halley as a launching off point, these graphite works physically locate the viewer. Where Halley’s works rely on color relationships to create depth in an otherwise flat image, the drawings in Measure borrow the same simple geometric structures while relying on the materiality of surface to challenge the limits of human observation.”
While the Measure works were more industrial and graphite-focused, that is only one side to Nagy’s multi-faceted works. For example, Nagy uses what fits best for the piece she is creating, which can range from traditional house paint to drywall. Her flexibility with tools and mediums is shown in her other work, such as her Spaces collection. Her piece, titled the Crystal Land, combines plexiglass, latex, wood, and the actual “space” the work is formed in. The work fills the room with a sense of wonder and awe about the structural and constructional detail it took to form the piece.
Nagy’s curatorial work, TiltExport: Aftermath, was featured at GOCA 121 in the spring of 2016. GOCA is proud feature Nagy’s monumental sculptures, and one of HuffPost 2010’s “Northwest’s Top Ten Exhibition Picks,” in campus gallery space of GOCA 1420. Her exhibition, disappear here, is on view January 29 through March 12th. The exhibition opening reception features an artist talk with Nagy.