Schema Projects

Nina Bovasso: Flat, Baroque and Berserk

September 25 - November 1, 2015
Opening reception: Friday, Sep. 25th, 6-9pm

VIEW EXHIBITION             

Press Release:

There no better feeling than standing in front of a work by Nina Bovasso. First there is the joy: it explodes across the page, spilling out of cracks and folds or creeping up from the rooted baseline or centerline of the page. She deploys an explosive fairy flower palette with the deftness and experience of a Celtic calligrapher. Nina Bovasso considers her works on paper a kind of anti-design or pattern gone amok. Working in varying sizes, notions of scale are present and vast, and as important as the initially obvious colorful palette. There is the whiff of menace that sneaks in and imagery that should not work but does, such as the piles of lemming-like Snoopies, the rapturous toxic bouquets, the menacing but captivating flames or the snake like rainbow bands that wrap the pulsing clusters, be they rows of little graphic shapes or stacks of tinsel like lines. Larger works feel like a Forth of July celebration, loosely tied together with swirling bands of color like dive bombers leaving colored jet streams in the wake of their barnstorming mission. Elements of sky and earth are un-hinged from the forces of gravity and tossed into space like a batch of pick up sticks suspended in a new arrangement. The vertical division created by juxtaposed paper engages us bodily and recalls it’s making. Within each drawing there is a curiosity built on a sophisticated mix of scales played out in a palette of pinks, reds, blacks and blues. Colors and shapes are happy to be themselves here in the hands of Nina Bovasso.

Threads of romanticism and obsession play out in Bovasso’s use of repeated pattern and opposing imagery. These elements call to mind the best of Fin de siècle design such as the graphic work of Josef Hoffman or the paintings of Gustav Klimt. Her works share affinities with the painting of Philip Guston and his use of pop-comic characters, his unsettled disorder and the compositional structure unique to Guston, of elements planted heavily on the foot of the page. She has taken the decorative and turned it on it’s head, taken beauty and laced it with “mal”. Bovasso in her way has captured our 20th century Fin de siècle and spins it into the new century: I wanna wake up to a Nina Bovasso every 21st century day.

“Flat, Baroque and Berserk” is a hats off to Roy Harper and his eponymous 1970 album used here to reference folk idealism and Bovasso's formal affinity to the multilayered texture of Harper’s acoustic guitar techniques. Schema Projects is pleased to present these exuberant works on paper.

Nine Bovasso attended The Cooper Union, SFAI (BFA) and Bard College (MFA). She has been the recipient of various grants including MacDowell Colony Fellowship, the Pollack-Krasner, Dieu Donné Papermill Residency, the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Grant, New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship in Drawing, The Marie Walsh Sharpe Art Studio program grant and a John Simon Guggenheim Grant in 2001.

Her work is represented in the collections of MOMA, Collectie KKPY Netherlands, The New Museum of Contemporary Art NY,The Whitney Museum of American Art, the Norton Family Collection, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Berkley Art Museum and Foundation Ricard Paris, France among others. She has shown extensively in the US and internationally, most recently at the M&E Gallery (Musuem Editions) NY NY, ADA Gallery, Richmond VA, Bravin Lee Programs, NY NY, Galeria Casado Santapau, Madrid Spain, Galerie Diana Stigler, Amsterdam NL, Galerie Schemla, Dusseldorf, DM to name only a few.

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