Why Rafael de Cárdenas Collects Art
Nicholas van Woert‘s works draw on the tools and rituals developed throughout Western Civilization. They simultaneously criticize and surrender to the built environment and our tendency towards territorial and material expansion. Van Woert believes in the semantics of material. Common materials are imbued with meaning through our daily relationship to them outside of the context of Art. In this case he collects materials confiscated at Airport security- all labeled as having the potential to be used as weapons.
Nick van Woert received his MFA from Parsons School of Design and has completed residencies at Zabludowicz, in Sarvisalo, Finland, and at The Edward Albee Foundation in Montauk, New York. His work has been shown nationally and abroad, including museum exhibitions at the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, The Hague, Netherlands; and MAMbo, the Museum of Modern Art, Bologna, Italy. Solo exhibitions include GRIMM, Amsterdam; Yvon Lambert, Paris and New York; L&M, Los Angeles; and Morán Morán, Los Angeles. Born in Reno, Nevada, van Woert is now based in Brooklyn, New York.
Image rights: Courtesy of the artist and Morán Morán, Los Angeles
Informed by his background in architecture and driven by a fascination with antiquity, Nick van Woert claims to “hijack” the art historical past to create his striking, wry sculptures. A strong sense of history—both natural and human—unites his prolific output. He cites Vitruvius, the early Roman architect who was inspired by nature, as a significant influence. Like an urban archeologist, van Woert combs through the convenience stores, factories, and dumpsters in Brooklyn to source materials for his sculptures, which he then re-presents in elegant works like Home and Garden (2011). In this work, van Woert fills transparent rectangular containers with a colorful assortment of consumer and industrial products—including Kool-Aid, a Dunkin Donuts billboard, salt, and hair gel—and stacks the containers to form two perpendicular walls that look like exposed geological strata.
American, b. 1979, Reno, Nevada, based in Brooklyn, New York