Nicole Lenzi Solo Exhibition

March 14 – 18, 2018
Flexspace A, CICA Museum


Time Lines

In my art, I question how mark making can inform thought. Drawing is a tool to explore this. Works are composed of marks that, referencing artist Avis Newman, are “signs of thought”. I add the element of time (and sometimes) space to this investigation to expand my approach. Time is a system of measurement while space invites unusual formal dialogues. Influenced by Eastern philosophy, and feminist Luce Irigaray, I aim to create “in between” these four entities (drawing, time, space and thought). It is there that experimentation happens and I am open to what can be.

Avis Newman writes, “I have always understood drawing to be about…the operations of thought.” As the hand makes lines over time, what happens inside the mind? Can thoughts ebb and flow as marks do? How is time experienced as I draw? What becomes of this absurd activity? These are a few of the questions that motivate works.

Traditionally, a drawing is a picture of a subject rendered on a two dimensional surface. In Time Lines, marks aim to translate experiences and thought. Lines suggest rather than portray. Recent works on paper are inspired by everyday observations of nature. It provides repose and encourages me to notice and listen to the subtleties of my surroundings. The poetic imagery in the Tao De Ching also influences my activity. I am particularly captivated by the sounds and happenings in the margins of an environment.

In Time Lines, process and responsive mark making are used to react, rather than illustrate. This repetitive drawing activity allows for “being” while working rather than “doing”. They are composed of combinations of Ink washes, pen and ink, pencil, thread, relief, pins, and exacto knife scores.

My installations stem from feminist concepts explored in Eastern philosophy and Luce Irigray’s Elemental Passions. In both Irigaray’s work and Lao Tzu’s Tao Te Ching, male and female are interdependent. The Tao and Elemental Passions are both perpetuated by yielding to the feminine. The poetic texts evolve forward because of this mutual relationship. These ideas are carried out in my expanded drawings and their relationship to the architecture of a space.

My drawing activity is timed from beginning to end. This sets a schedule that does away with distractions. Thus, it allows for greater engagement in the visceral experience. In Being and Time, Martin Heidegger writes, “Being and time determine each other reciprocally,…” As I work, drawing, time, and thought form an interdepedent relationship. Each informs and redevelops the other. Works are completed over a few seconds time to several months.

Resulting works become frameworks for consideration. Variation is employed to evolve works forward and see what happens next.

Nicole Lenzi

Nicole Lenzi’s interest in non-traditional drawing began in an undergraduate course called Experimental Drawing. She earned B.F.A. from Carnegie Mellon University in 1995 and an M.F.A. from the Maryland Institute College of Art in 2007. She takes a multi-dimensional approach that includes installations, 3D, relief, and 2D works. Recently, Lenzi presented“The Fluid Feminine”, for the Irigaray Circle at the University of Winchester. Recent exhibits include Concept and Time and Space at CICA Museum, Seoul, South Korea; and Drawing Lines Across Mediums at Site: Brooklyn, Brooklyn, NY. Lenzi has maintained a blog on contemporary drawing, Expanded, since 2015 and is based in Baltimore, MD.

Posted in Exhibitions.