PRESENT 6: Virgil de Voldere presents Nina Bovasso: The Covers Album
January 21 - February 27, 2016
Josée Bienvenu is pleased to present the sixth installment of “Present” a series of guest-curated exhibitions in the Project Space.
Nina Bovasso's new collage paintings are simultaneously raucous and understated. When considering the tradition of white paintings, the simplicity of Malevich and the nuance of Ryman come to mind. Bovasso represents the next generation and presents her own take on this unforgiving challenge. Bovasso tracked visual culture from an early age. Her father was an abstract painter and her mother a textile designer. A lifelong New Yorker, she came of age when Guston’s late works were causing an earthquake in the late seventies and eighties. As one of the progenitors of cosmic-comic abstract painting in the ‘90s, Bovasso is known for dense compositions of swirling vortexes and of irregularly stacked units that coalesce into humorously flattened mounds. The mounds have a totemic presence reminiscent of landscape devices from the earthly pagan delights of Piero di Cosimo to Spielberg's Close Encounters.
Bovasso’s new work is a sharp departure from her signature high-keyed color palette. The white works are comprised of interwoven shapes, both biomorphic and near-rectilinear, cut from common cardboard and affixed to gessoed canvas. The works are arranged and interwoven into boisterous tense grids, in which each shape seems to elbow the next for dominance on stage. They perform for the viewer, but more importantly test their mettle against one another. Though these compositions can appear to be quickly and aggressively hashed out, the construction is subtle and deft. Behind Bovasso’s incisive manipulation of space is a blend of historical consideration and impatient bravado. Bovasso’s act of bold, fitful cancellation can’t dampen the compositional acuity or intensity. Her move is direct, tough as nails, and hilarious. Bovasso is a badass and we are smitten.
- Virgil de Voldere, January 2016
Nina Bovasso was born and raised in New-York, NY, where she currently lives and works. She received her BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute, attended the Skowhegan School of Art, and completed a MFA from Bard College. Spending several years living part time in Amsterdam, the last year was focused on a studio practice resembling an experimental laboratory. At this time, and during a MacDowell Colony Fellowship in 2012, she begun making cardboad sculptures and reliefs. Bovasso’s work has been exhibited internationally, solo exhibitions include: Schema Projects, Brooklyn, NY (2015); Inman Gallery, Houston, TX (2008); Galeria Casado Santapau, Madrid (2008); Cleveland MOCA, Ohio (OH); University Museum at SUNY Albany, NY (2005); Galerie Schmela, Dusseldorf (2005); and Galerie Diana Stigter, Amsterdam (2005); Aliceday, Brussels (2005); Perugi Artecontemporanea, Padova, Italy (2004); Clementine Gallery, New York, NY (2002); Richard Heller Gallery, Santa Monica, CA (2001); Kavi Gupta (Vedanta), Chicago, IL (2000); Bovasso is the recipient of several awards and grants, including a Guggenheim Fellowship, Louis Comfort Tiffany Artist Grant, New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship, and a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant.
Virgil is co-founder of the Virgil de Voldere Gallery a contemporary art gallery in Chelsea. From 2005 to 2012 the gallery represented a group of young and mid-career artists working across various media. In 2010, he founded La Petite Ecole, a French Language and Art Preschool with now two locations in Manhattan.