Standing Pictures Manhattan
January 10 - February 21, 2004
The Christine Burgin Gallery is pleased to announce the opening of Standing Pictures an exhibition of work by Maria Nordman. Included in the exhibition is a new work and a group of works from the beginning of her time-specific, site-specific interventions in open places of the city.
The "Cloth House" part of an ongoing worn dwelling, consists of wool felt in the colors of projected white light - is potentially given by two persons to a third to wear. It begins l967 with a chance encounter with persons working in a sweatshop on Windward Street in Venice California. Without explanation, an individual is given an unsewn house. The event takes place on the day of the year with the most light at noon. With only one cut Nordman produces a minimal form of architecture.
Standing Pictures, the works from which the exhibition takes its title, consists of two drawings, one a plan made with the sun and reflections through on and through steel. The other panel has to do with the development of a potential collaboration "The New City begins with a guesthouse…" These works are housed in a freestanding structure which appears in the middle of the room -- that clearly takes its surface from the surface of the surrounding walls. The participant, the known or the unknown person on the street, enters the exhibition and removes a panel from within this freestanding wall when she or he chooses to contemplate it.
Also included in the exhibition are two of the earliest book/sculptures in relation to the works in the city. They are changed in position daily. De Sculptura Works in the City, Nordman's first book was made after a completion of her conscious decision to have her works exist in memory and speech only, not available as books or catalogues within that period. "The image could be chosen to be printed or imprinted and be carried directly into a potential continuity by speech and memory from l967-86"… The books made after this period become part of her time-specific site specific work.
"As of l967, Nordman had commenced her investigation into possible ways for apportioning the production of meaning between herself and others. By introducing 'people met by chance' into her work as collaborators - as she would do quite literally in the construction of much later projects - she sought to extend her authorial role to any and all recipients of her endeavor…."
"Whether associated with or conceived independently from an institution, a work by Nordman is always placed on an equal footing, materially and metaphorically with any person who might chance to see it. Her works are constructed for actual entry and have untilized, or refer to, the interiors of existing buildings such as vacated warehouses or small storefronts as well s those of museums and galleries. Avoiding artificiality of all kinds, especially that of light, Nordman's work takes issue with the singular and fixed image as a purveyor of truth. Committed to the idea of dialogue as an integral part of the work and to the erasure of preconceived thought processes, she refuses the notion of art as an object set before the spectator in a space reserved for its exclusive viewing."
Anne Rorimer, New Art in the 60's and 70's Redefining Reality, Thames & Hudson 2001
"Work" is what is amidst change.
It is without predefinition from a material
from modes that are plugged in or attached.
It is not in context with what is named an 'installation'.
The air, the light of the sun, the water,
the dialogue of people can't be affixed or "installed."
Maria Nordman DE SCULPTURA Works in the City Schirmer/Mosel l986
For the duration of the current exhibition, the gallery will be lit only by the light of the sun, and any ambient light. In the words of the artist, the gallery will function as "a place of meeting for the potential beginning of a new city conjunct to the given city."
Maria Nordman has exhibited extensively in Europe and America and Japan since the late 60s. Her most recent exhibitions include works at the 1997 Venice Biennale and two European Community works - one in Porto in the Museum Serralves, another at the UNESCO site of Zeche Zollverein connected to the Westfaian Landesmuseum fur Kunst in Munster in 2002. The most recent exhibition of Nordman's work in New York was at the DIA Foundation in 1990-91 and the Public Art Fund, with a work at the entrance to Central Park, open day and night for twelve turns of the earth: a double room structure for the person called a neonate and his two person accompaniment, with details of living usage built into the sculpture, and a second room for the unknown person.
"Since l967, initially in various locations in and around Los Angeles and later around the world, Maria Nordman began to work directly with the city. Using the given materials of everyday existence, including sun, shadow, time and ambient sounds, Nordman's work uses the conditions of experience and place within the specific urban contexts and social situations of the city." Ann Goldstein from Reconsidering the Object of Art l965-75 Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, & MIT Press Cambridge.