02.24 — 03.23.19

Devening Projects invites you to the opening of the second solo exhibition by New York artist Nancy Ford. We’re very happy to be working with Nancy again as she presents the paintings, works on paper and fabric pieces that have been her focus for the past three years. Please join us for an opening reception on Sunday, February 24. The exhibition will then continue until March 23.

What you’ll find in this exhibition reflects an extended period when Nancy Ford focused primarily on drawing, setting tight parameters of size and medium in order to discover what possibilities would reveal themselves within these constraints. The images are based almost exclusively on imagination and intuition, or a heavily filtered, hazy memory of something that had stuck with her from a walk, a film still, an image of an artist’s interior, a book jacket, a painting or something seen in an exhibition. These triggers may be semi-specific, but the resulting work often goes its own way towards something more indirect and mysterious. For Ford, one of the first commitments within a single work is color, seeking to explore its power, creating new meanings or associations (for example, how can a bright, lively color also read to have a melancholy undertow? What if pastels were creepy?) With color and light in mind there is also that strong inclination to discover new ways to address, construct and reconsider nature. We see that process beautifully explored in the drawings in this exhibition.

As an artist, Nancy Ford’s influences are vast, varied and delightful. She openly shares her passion for specific artists, designers and architects; the textiles and patterns associated with numerous cultures; and the data collected from early scientists experimenting with color. She loves to look at the exuberant designs of Sonia Delaunay, the ceramics of Vally Wieselthier, Dagobert Peche’s work with the Wiener Werkstatte, the Ballet Russes, Sophie Taeuber-Arp, Matisse’s studio (especially the fabrics), Francis Picabia, the weather in Charles Birchfield’s paintings, and the modernism of ancient Peruvian textiles all find their way into her work through source material organized in three-ring binders and used to inspire and ignite every new project.

In her exhibition at Devening Projects, the fabric-over-plinth pieces are a great example of the way these interests find their way into the work. Their installation references the industrial arts exhibitions of Paris in 1925, Sonia Delaunay’s Boutique Simultane, and the retail shop of the Wiener Werkstatte. Reflecting a sensitive awareness to how visual art and domestic functionality have been in a long-term love affair, she reveals a new dimension to her fabric pieces when they come in direct contact with objects and volumes. This work not only celebrates color, pattern and surface but also invites the viewer to an evocative new place where space, light and body intersect.

Nancy Ford studied at the Cleveland Institute of Art, received her BFA from the Maryland Institute, College of Art in 1993, and an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1998. This will be her second solo show at devening projects + editions. Her work has been included in group exhibitions at CAM Raleigh, INOVA Institute of Visual Arts, Midway Contemporary Art, along with various shows in Chicago, Milwaukee, Bolinas, Nagoya, and London. Ford works as a librarian and archivist in New York, NY.

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