I Like Nicola López & I'm Not Afraid to Say It
At the Denver Art Museum I saw an installation piece of Nicola López's that I enjoyed. I think I'd seen a similar installation of hers somewhere in NY, but I can't remember where. The piece, with its seemingly mad organization of roads along the floors, walls & ceilings of the room, fit especially well with the no-right-angles Libeskind architecture.
It's a pleasurable piece to sit & look at in the room, following the roads around the space & laughing at the ridiculousness of the design. But a lot of the work succeeds on its intelligence, the visual equation of the roads & veins is important to the work, but also the metastatic overgrowth of the roads is, to me, part of its effect.
Looking through her website, I was interested to see this theme explored in a number of directions, each with their own aesthetic & art history reference points. For instance this print seems to take Escher's whimsy of crowding repetition & darken it through the use of pomo industrial/urban images.
And this lovely print works its organic blend of order & biological chaos within the rhetoric of antique maps:
Here's a quote from her mission statement on her site: "As with the evolution of the human-built landscape, there are moments in the construction of my world where the building proceeds according to plans that have already been laid and there are moments when the building precedes its own planning, expanding unpredictably and organically towards an order of a very different sort. Our world is full of the tension between just this order and disorder and my work focuses on that tension, creating images of landscapes that struggle against themselves, that strive towards order and beauty as they verge on the edge of spinning beyond control or comprehension."
I think I interpret her work more cynically than she perhaps intends.
Check out her site here: www.nicolalopez.com