Fisher Landau Center for Art presents "Nancy Dwyer: Paintings & Sculpture, 1982-2012", curated by Nicholas Arbatsky, on view today, January 18 - April 7, 2013.
Fisher Landau Center for Art has announced an exhibition exploring a wide range of Nancy Dwyer's artwork in two and three dimensions, created over the last 30 years. Known as a founding member of the Pictures Generation, coined after the seminal "Pictures" exhibition in 1977 at Artists Space, Dwyer has refined a conceptual practice that questions the way media infiltrates our daily lives through the icons of language, gesture and implied meaning. Installed throughout the public spaces of the Center, the survey offers the viewer a sequential experience beginning at the outdoor entrance, leading through the lobby and continuing up the stairwell to the 3rd floor exhibition space and conference room. Artwork from the Center's holdings is supplemented by work from Nancy Dwyer's personal collection, creating a visual timeline highlighting the interplay of recurring motifs, as they transform from the painted surface to objects in space.
Born in New York City in 1954, Dwyer's artistic training took place throughout the region at Empire State College's Studio Program, SUNY Buffalo's Fine Arts Program and most recently at NYU where she received a Master's Degree in Interactive Communication. In the early 1980s, Dwyer came into prominence alongside Cindy Sherman, Robert Longo, Sherrie Levine and Richard Prince. She has exhibited internationally since the outset of her career and was included in the Whitney Museum of American Art's 1987 Biennial. Emily Fisher Landau began collecting her artwork in 1988 with the purchase of "Later", a large canvas depicting a tire on its side, surrounded by the handwritten text "SEE YOU AROUND". Mrs. Landau's interest in Dwyer's artistic production escalated to include her sculptural words as well, comprising a selection of artwork that forms a cohesive cross section of Dwyer's thematic vocabulary from the late 1980's & early 1990's.
Included in the exhibition are language based sculptures from the collection including "KILLER" from 1991, made of painted aluminum, measuring 42 x 72 x 35 inches, "BODY" from 1990 made of black anodized aluminum with aluminum poles, measuring 81 x 154 x 63 inches and "The Desk of Envy" from 1988, an example of Dwyer's functional art made of mahogany, leather, glass and brass hardware, measuring 29 x 84 x 23 1/2 inches. Paintings include "Miracle" from 1986, a 60 x 75 inch canvas and "Yoga Woman" part of Dwyer's personal collection made in 1982, a 54 x 48 inch acrylic on canvas that was recently included in the Metropolitan Museum of American Art's "The Pictures Generation: 1974-1984". As you approach the entrance to the Center you encounter "H2O" installed at the top of the ramp, a galvanized steel bucket sculpture from 1990 that's filled with water measuring 24 1/2 x 47 x 64 inches followed by "CO2" made in 1990 from steel mesh, measuring 66 x 56 x 20 inches. Installed in the lobby above the front desk, "Entitled to What" from 2006-2012, is a laminated digital print made specifically for the exhibition, measuring 96 x 120 inches. Sited opposite, making a commanding presence is "BIG EGO II" from 2011, an enormous 96 x 216 x 65 inch inflated polyurethane nylon sculpture, lent from the Burchfield Penney Art Center in
Buffalo, New York. The 3rd floor features "Already Dead" & "Clouds" both from 2012, site specific installations that are intertwined with the architecture of the space, rounded out with numerous examples of Dwyer's artwork created over the last three decades.
Housed in a former parachute harness factory, Fisher Landau Center for Art was designed by Max Gordon in association with Bill Katz and is devoted to the exhibition and study of the contemporary art collection of Emily Fisher Landau. The core of the 1500 work collection spans 1960 to the present and contains key works by artists who have shaped the most significant art of the last 50 years. Emily Fisher Landau's insightful selection of works by contemporary masters, many of which she purchased from the artists at the outset of their careers, is reflected in exhibitions presented at Fisher Landau Center for Art. Her ongoing commitment to emerging artists extends to the annual presentation of the Columbia University School of Visual Arts MFA Thesis Exhibition. In May of 2010, Mrs. Landau made a historic pledge of 419 artworks by nearly 100 artists, to the Whitney Museum of American Art. Excerpts from "LEGACY" a traveling exhibition that highlights the gift to the Whitney, will travel throughout the United States from February 2013 through 2015.