Mediums: Painting, Sculpture
Azara is an assured colorist and her sculptures are vivid; reds, roses and purples– her favorite hues–dominate her palette, balanced by the sheen of gold, silver, and in her most recent work, aluminium leaf. The rich encaustic of the surfaces seems burnished to a soft glow and have the look of things that have been intently looked at, visually and literally caressed." Lilly Wei, from "Spirit Taking Form, She Said", 2010
Nancy Azara, like Magdalena Abakanowicz and Louise Bourgeois, typically groups her forms together: while we read these works as unitites, they are usually composed of 10 or 20 parts. Besides the theme of extension and growth, Maxi’s Wall also explored themes of protecting, sheltering, confronting, and mothering” Margaret Sheffield, July 2007
Maxi’s Wall Intensely spiritual in a transhistorical and transcultural way, this assemblage of vertical forms reads like a call to celebration. Composed of various shapes and sizes, its colors and images have long been associated with the artist. The reaching hands and the gold are hallmarks. There are also shades of red and purple and an occasional heart. These contemporary spirit poles evoke thoughts of tribal rites and universal prayer. Harriet Senie, Sculpture Magazine, March 2009
Nancy Azara is an artist who has exhibited her sculpture and collages in New York City throughout the U.S. and abroad. Her work is carved, assembled and painted wood often gilded with gold and silver leaf and encaustic as well as mixed media collages. Her mixed media collages, mylar, paper, paint and sometimes wood chips, are about time in relation to memory and personal history. Curator, critic Leonie Bradbury describes them as mixed media collage drawings seamlessly combining a contemporary printmaker’s aesthetic with organic mark making.
Nancy speaks about her sculpture: I have been carving sculpture in wood for a long time. It has felt like a good “fit” for me as I have always admired trees and I often even as a child felt that they held a metaphor for my experience of life. Most recently my work has been about the cycle of time, about the death of my mother, about the birth of my granddaughter, (See Maxi’s Wall, and Leaf Altar for Nunzia) and my own aging.
Her work was shown at the Andre Zarre Gallery in Chelsea, NY in March 2010. She has shown in numerous one woman exhibitions at Donahue/Sosinski Art and A.I.R. Gallery in New York City, at the Froelick Gallery, Portland, Oregon, the SACI Gallery, Florence, Italy, the Tweed Museum in Duluth, Minnesota, Rudolph E. Lee Gallery in Clemson, N.C., the Gwinnett Fine Arts Center in Duluth, Georgia and many group shows such as the traveling Rutger’s University exhibition How American Women Artists Invented Post-Modernism, 2006. She was the featured sculptor at the SANYI Museum in Taiwan in 2008.
Azara has recently written a book, Spirit Taking Form: Making a Spiritual Practice of Making Art (Red Wheel/Weiser) and an essay, “In Pursuit of the Divine” forThe Kensington and Winchester Papers: Painting, Sculpture and the Spiritual Dimension, (Onerios Books). She was a founder of the New York Feminist Art Institute (NYFAI) in 1979, where she was on the board and taught a workshop called “Consciousness Raising, Visual Diaries, Art Making” for many years. She has been a visiting artist in both the United States, Europe, and India, most recently at the Bogliasco Foundation, Genoa, Italy and at Chikraneketan in South India (state of Kerala).
NANCY AZARA 2011
nancy [at] nancyazara [dot] com