Leila Heller Gallery is pleased to announce the opening of Nancy Lorenz solo exhibition in the UAE. Based in New York, Lorenz’s career has witnessed the inclusion of her works in several exhibitions around the world, including private and public commissions from Miami to Mumbai. The successful reception of her works is justified, juxtaposing motifs from East Asia, specifically Japan, with commonplace materials to produce transformative pieces gilded in gold, silver, and mother-of-pearl.
Lorenz’s oeuvre displays an uncanny understanding of ancient practices fueled with modern techniques, adding further to the contemporary dialogue in the art world of referencing the past to comment on the present. In fact, as one walks throughout the space, it is almost impossible to distinguish her practice from that of civilizations past, finishing cardboard and wood to resemble centuries of age. This meticulous process, of imbuing ordinary materials with history itself, can be observed across all of the works displayed here.
The most notable aspects of Lorenz’s oeuvre come from her wooden and cardboard panels, and her boxes, styled as if Nancy poured molten metal along each piece; and, yet, there is a sense of method to be seen — an awareness that each is lustrous drip is placed with purpose. Where Lorenz succeeds most is in her masterful control of space and arrangement, which stands as a testament to her appreciation for practices of art from East Asia. It is not just about remolding beauty from the average, but ingraining a whole culture in each piece. In this sense, her works transcend their decorative function.
The works of Nancy Lorenz are best defined by her Moon Gold catalog by the San Diego Museum of Art. In Justin Spring’s writings, he explains: “Lorenz comes to her engagement with lustrous materials out of an appreciation of their sensuality; but also with a healthy respect for their traditional and historical use in the fine and decorative arts. Simply put: they are materials for which she has always felt both reverence and attraction. But, not content to work within tradition-bound forms, she instead incorporates them into abstract and nature-inspired compositions. Nonetheless these works will often carry implicit (and at times explicit) evocations — at first glance they seem an update on Japanese screen paintings, Coromandel lacquer, Fabergé or Verdura bibelots. But Lorenz’s own vision is far more deconstructed. On closer inspection, her works seem posed, indeterminate, between the traditionally elegant and the wholly surprising.1”
1 Ariel Plotek, Nancy Lorenz Moon Gold (San Diego: The San Diego Museum of Art, 2018), 72