Michael Rosenfeld Gallery presents a spotlight position for Nancy Grossman (American, b.1940) concentrating on the 1960s; the exhibition traces her artistic evolution from mixed media wall reliefs and drawings to her iconic sculptural head forms. This presentation is Grossman’s first solo exhibition in London.
Working in the 1960s in the same spirit as the Abstract Expressionist action painters, Nancy Grossman dedicated herself to large-scale abstract relief assemblages. Stretched on canvas and reinforced with a wood backing, Grossman “drew” with repurposed leather and disassembled/weathered metal parts found in scrap heaps. Exhibited in 1965 in her second solo exhibition at Krasner Gallery (NYC), these monumental reliefs reflected a “nostalgia for parts” and her ongoing interest in machine-like figuration. Similar ideas were also being explored in her compact black ink on paper drawings. Like her wall reliefs, these drawings articulated unorthodox hybrid forms against white grounds, within a narrow chromatic range. Consistently referencing male and female bodily imagery, Grossman abandoned abstraction and reclaimed the body in 1968 with her head sculptures. Meticulously crafted, these “self-portraits” developed out of Grossman’s own personal history and the charged landscape around her, specifically the liberation movements of the 1960s and the Vietnam War.