Nasatir’s intricate sculptural landscapes, which she constructs, photographs, re-works, re-prints, and re-photographs, question and complicate the properties inherently accepted in her medium: flatness and truth in representation. Results of extensive production, her C-prints possess confounding depth, scale, and materiality. They expose complex compositions that challenge the eye’s hierarchy and create a puzzling psychological space. What began in her practice as a performative process of manipulating prints - sanding, freezing, tearing, lacquering - evolved into a process of making in which sculptural action and lens treatment supersede and generate the image, resulting in rich depictions of a space between vision, imagination, and tactility. Above all, the studio reigns as an arena for experimentation - her subjects function as an ensemble cast, open to play.
An expansion of recent lines of inquiry, this exhibition contains seven new compositions. Unframed and tacked directly to the wall, five towering photographs command the space, discouraging accelerated content digestion and enveloping the viewer. Nasatir’s subjects and landscapes demand intimate awareness and an eye for detail. Individually, each piece is a magnetic microcosm of icons and supporting characters, meticulously arranged and narratively contained. Together, a greater
conversation emerges in light patterns, recurring objects, and opaque ritual signifiers that provoke the assignment of meaning without guidance. Each letterboxed panel contains the photographic stage’s layered action while highlighting the physical space in which her sculptures are made: the studio. In Icarus (Part 4), a resin-cast flamingo has swallowed a pair of scissors that starred in an earlier photograph, while a golden cast of its wing rests on a nearby helmet. Others glamourize found and
composite objects - boxing gloves, 35mm film, a cherry, construction equipment, a hockey stick, a high heeled shoe - a nod to New York City’s 20th century trash and drag movements at their origins, honoring the handmade.
Two framed photographs, Yellow #1 and White #1, revel in dialogue, revealing clues to the process of her making with their mirrored imagery. Twinning here is an illusion; it is an image manipulated differently on separate occasions, emphasizing the processes that connect and separate them. Light, or the absence of it, becomes the images’ driving force, paring down the medium to its basic mechanical principles, form and content. Nasatir has, in her emerging career, confronted photography with
aggression and grace, addressing its history and legacy while challenging its constraints.
Willa Nasatir (b. 1990, Los Angeles, CA) lives and works in New York, NY where she received her BFA from The Cooper Union. Select recent exhibitions include Chapter NY, New York (solo); White Columns, New York (solo); Agnes Maybach, Cologne; DREI Gallery, Cologne; Rosenwald-Wolf Gallery, The University of Arts, Philadelphia; Company Gallery, New York; Del Vaz Projects, Los Angeles; VAVA, Milan. Her work has been featured in Mousse Magazine (Lauren Cornell), Document Magazine (Drew Sawyer), Artforum (Wendy Vogel), Flash Art (Emily Rappaport), Kaleidoscope, and n+1.