Smith-Stewart is pleased to present a solo exhibition of new work by New York artist Nicole Cherubini.
Nicole Cherubini’s practice takes us on a journey, spanning more than two thousand years, from ancient Greek and Roman pottery and sculpture to the controversial and influential 19th century American potters, up to and beyond, post-minimalism, specifically referencing the work of Eva Hesse.
Clay reveals every mark of its maker and it is here where Cherubini’s experimental interests begin. Her sculptures feature clay vessels made from terracotta to earthenware to porcelain with a vast array of glazing techniques combined with an assemblage of materials as far ranging as alabaster and MDF. Her pots are just as important as what supports them—-wood and clay pedestals, 2×4s and chunks of marble.
Based on the Porzellankabinett, a 1713 interior in the Charlottenburg Palace in Berlin, Cherubini continues her investigation of the boundaries between painting and sculpture, transforming the gallery with three large-scale sculptures—using line, form and color. Like the porcelain chamber, filled with a valuable collection of Chinese and Japanese porcelain, Cherubini creates an equally impressive display with her own sculpted pots. For “Small Amphora with Turquoise Narration”, 2008 and “Nestoris II”, 2008, Cherubini constructed the sculptures in sections first, building its multiple forms, unglazed and then addressed issues of color, light and surface. This allowed Cherubini to liberate the clay from its material stasis, creating movement through an intensive glazing process. Cherubini’s drawings, several which are evident here, expose her wide-ranging sources.
She addresses her drawings the same way she does her sculptures. Deemed her “reading room”, the drawings are digitally collaged sections of Greek and Roman pottery and early American pots by George Ohr and the Brothers Kirkpatrick, which she then erases, obscures and enhances with her own colorful drips, globs and marks. Sometimes Cherubini incorporates her drawings with the sculptures other times they stand alone.
Nicole Cherubini’s concurrent solo exhibition is on view at D’Amelio Terras, New York through November 1. In 2009, she will be featured in “Dirt on Delight” at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia, which will travel to the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis. Her upcoming exhibitions also include: the Contemporary Arts Forum, Santa Barbara; the Santa Monica Museum of Art, Santa Monica; and her collaborative project with Taylor Davis (DAVIS, CHERUBINI) will be exhibited at the List Visual Arts Center at MIT, Cambridge and MUSEUM 52, New York.