Nancy Graves Project & Special Guests

ARTBOOK | D.A.P.
Mar 5, 2014 10:14PM
For many years I've been hearing about Nancy Graves (1939-1995) from the artist Gary Panter. Gary was always going on about her camel sculptures and her exuberant, almost goofy works on paper. But Graves resources have been slim, so she always remained a bit of a mystery to me. Imagine my relief when a 300-page brick of a monograph, Nancy Graves Project & Special Guests, arrived here at the office. Between linen covers is a kind of dossier, lovingly compiled by the Ludwig Forum Aachen and editors Briggitte Franzen and Annette Lagler, that includes not just Graves’ spectacular work, but also copious personal photographs, interviews with her contemporaries (Chuck Close among them), and astute essays. Graves, while prominent in the 1960s and ‘70s, has long since fallen into partial obscurity here in America, her work stubbornly incapable of being neatly summarized and dropped into the standard art historical narrative. She moved from the aforementioned life-size sculptures of camels to vibrant wildlife drawings, to topographical imagery and then back out to totemic, painted junk object sculpture that anticipates much of what one sees in contemporary galleries. Graves was a prolific, visionary artist, far too underappreciated. This beautifully designed and printed book should begin what I hope will be Graves revival. I’d certainly like to stand next to one of those camels.
ARTBOOK | D.A.P.
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Jenna Gribbon, Luncheon on the grass, a recurring dream, 2020. Jenna Gribbon, April studio, parting glance, 2021. Jenna Gribbon, Silver Tongue, 2019