A Celebration of All Things Cultural, Artistic, and Entertaining in Madison
Oct 21, 2009
When you find yourself in the middle of a big city, do you ever pause and take note of the sights and sounds around you? Buildings looming up to the sky. Concrete. Glass. Metal. Car horns honking. Road construction. People shouting.
An urban environment can quickly overwhelm the senses.
That this exhibition takes place here is due to López’s longstanding relationship with Tandem Press. One of every editioned print that Tandem produces becomes part of the Chazen’s permanent collection. The show features several of López’s prints, as well as collages and large-scale installations.
Through her work—much of which is layered, a mixture of prints and hand-drawn marks—she creates complex, dizzying cityscapes. Planes, windows, grids, tubes and other elements of the modern world combine, overlap and intersect on paper or, in some cases, directly across walls and ceilings of the museum.
Says López in her artist statement, “Our landscape is saturated with signs of the easy mobility, speed, constant communication, imposition of structure, insistence on growth, and glorification of technology that characterize our society. My work incorporates these signs, exaggerating and reconfiguring them in order to build maps that convey the sense of inevitable wonder and vertigo that we face in today’s world.”
She goes on to point out that the world she creates is neither a utopia nor a dystopia. It overwhelms but also evokes a sense of awe.
Looking at López’s work, the environment comes in, over and around you. Everything is spinning, tumbling, contorting, and crescendoing. Her imagery draws you in, twists you about and leaves you in a slightly disoriented state of wonder.
And what’s so powerful about this state is that it’s not a foreign world you’re reacting to, but rather the dynamic, buzzing cityscape we experience—and often enjoy—all around us.
Nicola López: Urban Transformations runs through January 3 at the Chazen. For more information, visit chazen.wisc.edu.
Photos courtesy of the Chazen Museum of Art.