Assembly Room is excited to celebrate Women’s History Month with Ice Cream Social, a solo show of paintings and works on paper by Nora Riggs curated by Assembly Room co-founder Paola Gallio and Sonia Dutton.
Nora Riggs explores motherhood, everyday domesticity, and memory in a grouping of her new works. The artist arranges still lives and domestic and pyschological spaces that we inhabit which recall her own personal encounters. Intimate blueprints derived from her mind’s eye originate as memory paintings and become embroidered with fictitiousness in the studio as Riggs reimagines the past interwoven with art historical references throughout. The paintings speak to her deep interest in how we come to view ourselves through the memories we conjure and what we leave out – while the artworks contain their “own internal system of formal correspondences, forms repeated like motifs in a story we tell ourselves.”
Riggs expands these ideas outwards and onto the canvas in disguise – crystallizing scenes drawn inwards, flattened and stacked, saturated with vivid bolts and layers of pigment, kaleidoscopic, with swirling tactility, thereby burying her original visions. Ice Cream Social reveals the intimacy of a world made of scenes remastered through the distortive lens of memory. The interiors of the spaces she creates lose the physicality of the four-dimensional space forming layers of colorful patterns. The bodies are a combination of monumental geometric shapes, pointed and rounded, of planes and sculptural volumes dissolved in space by the repetition of polychromatic patterns. The hierarchy established between the object and the bodies overturns psychological principals of color, contrast, size, and position all at once.
Dancing around and in-between regional modernism and craft, social and private politics, and history and our current moment, Riggs’ paintings find resolution in an optimistic generative gesture that embraces the personal creative act as the most consequential.
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Nora Riggs received a BFA from RISD in 1994 and completed an MFA at Indiana University in 1997, moving to New York shortly afterwards where she worked as a nightwatchman at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Currently her show Erotic Bath is at Office Hours Projects in Eugene, Oregon, and she presented a solo show entitled Fancy Hand at Queens Gallery, Los Angeles in 2017. Selected group shows include The Librarians, curated by Itza Vilaboy at Spring Valley Branch, Spring Valley CA in 2018; Las Lenguas, curated by Gladys Hernando at BBQLA, Los Angeles; Muscular, curated by John McAllister at Kansas Gallery, New York, 2015; Up All Night with Itza VIlaboy, Light & Wire Gallery, Los Angeles, 2014; and ALPTRAUM, Deutscher Künstlerbund, Projekteaum, Berlin, Germany, 2011. Nora lives and works in Florence, MA.
Sonia Dutton is a curator and dealer based in New York who works with artists who use materials and ideas in vigorous, forward-looking, and idiosyncratic ways. While programming several gallery iterations in New York and Texas she has put on site-specific exhibitions in unconventional spaces and participated in several editions of art fairs such as NADA New York; Outsider Art Fair, New York; Untitled, Miami; Spring1883, Sydney; Spring1883, Melbourne; Swab Barcelona; Dallas Art Fair; and Texas Contemporary.
Paola Gallio is one of the co-founders of Assembly Room NYC. Her curatorial mission is to nurture young and under-represented artists, providing them with much needed resources and opportunities for their long-term success. She has collaborated with public institutions and non-profit art organizations, including No Longer Empty, Soloway Gallery, Carriage Trade in New York; Marsèlleria Permanent Exhibition, Spazio Morris, FDV, Lambretto Art Project in Milan; Micamoca, BB6 (2010); and Mariano Pichler Collection Berlin. She served as the Director of the non-profit space Neon>fdv, and co-curator of Short Show and Short Visit projects, Milan.
Assembly Room is part of NADA New York Gallery Open 2019, March 4 to 10, 2019.