Nicole Lenzi

Statement (Main)
Artist Statement
In my art, I question what a drawing is and how it can affect thinking. Mark making, time, and space are integral to this investigation to expand my notion of the medium. Time is a system of measurement while space invites unusual formal dialogues. Eastern philosophy, Avis Newman, metaphor, and post minimalism all influence my practice. I aim to create in between dimensions. It is there that drawing opens to what it can be.

Traditionally, drawing is a rendering of a subject on a two dimensional surface. In my work, it is used as a tool to expand how to see and experience the medium and its relationship to thinking.

Avis Newman's statement, “A mark is sign of thought.”, informs my work on many levels. It encourages me to concentrate on what is happening in my mind as I work. How do thoughts form in relation to the movement of my hand or body? Do they align as my marks do, and then trail off and meet again? This led to an interest in in the relationship between drawing and time. How is time experienced during the act of drawing? Does it fragment as a line bends?

Eastern philosophy informs and guides my practice. It encourages forming perspectives from an in-between place. The Eastern concept of non-hierarchy explored in Taoism has influenced how works are conceived. Installations and spatial drawings called Conglomerates grow out their surroundings. The materials found in a space infuse themselves into a work, integrating works into their environment.

Recent works are created in timed increments, allowing for reflection. In both my 3D and 2D drawings, shadow lines are recorded and traced over several minutes or hours. These marks become metaphors for thoughts. Surprise alignments bring about moments of clarity and insight. Where 2D works are composed of hand drawn lines, 3D works reconsider how to see and make a mark.

Resulting works become frameworks for consideration. Variation is employed to see what happens next.Resulting works becomes
The spatial works Conglomerates bring together interests in non-traditional drawing, time, thought, and post minimalist sculpture. These small scale structures stem from the Eastern idea of non-hierarchy. They grow in relation to their environment and are composed of the various materials found in a space, opening them to a dialogue with their surroundings.

As in the Tao, "yielding to the feminine", the push and pull of opposites, is what perpetuates these works forward (and in turn the drawing activity). Contrasting shapes, textures and edges interplay at diverse angles in these constructions. Combinations of hard/soft, rough/smooth/, opaque/transparent materials are assigned genders.

Shadow lines are traced onto materials to form dialogues between the contrasts. Hand drawn marks flow over soft edges and bend and refract around hard ones. This action makes them extend them outward into the surrounding space.

The longer a Conglomerate exists in an environment, the more it shifts in form. This can happen when the viewer experiences it from different angles and/or through physical interventions.

Conglomerates reconsider how to see and make marks with the hand and body. The physical construction of these structures involves bending, lifting, and placing. Creating them is a consistent reminder of the relation of the body to the "marks" being made.

Current Series, Conglomerates (Progressions)-2D/3D
The current Conglomerate series, Progressions, are composed of cement slabs and plexiglass. The term relates to musical chord progressions produced over time to stir harmonies.

Made in relation to shifting sunlight and shadows, they are constructed  outside over the course of minutes or hours. Contrasting materials interplay in these structures. Cement slabs absorb the light while plexiglass reflects it, creating a moving linear drawing. Shadow lines are observed and recorded on and from materials to mark shadow movements and extend the drawing activity. These become metaphors for thought. Different stages are photographed to record unexpected alignments.

A series of reductive still lifes are created from the photographs with pencil and ink.  They extend the 3D into 2D. The darkest darks and lightest lights, along with a few gray shades, are pulled out of the images and drawn on paper and painted with ink. This captures shadow alignments. The drawings become a query for how thoughts form; how they unfold, fragment, and then realign.