I began my Nomad paintings in 2007 during a profoundly unsettling period, when I had no permanent home or studio. They were my attempt to place myself in a world in which I had lost my place.
In the borrowed studio of a friend, I began cutting wood veneer that was on hand, attempting to follow the shapes and forms of Jean Prouvé (8 April 1901 - 23 March 1984). I had learned about Prouvé a decade before. A self-taught architect and designer, Prouvé made and produced structures and furniture for nomadic existences. He had been a member of the French Resistance, sought to foster connections between art and industry, and made efforts to link art and social consciousness. I admired the combination of pragmatism and idealism, and the beauty of his forms.
Cutting veneer following Prouvé’s forms, I found unexpected curves and moves. It seemed as if his forms detoured from the expectations they set – as if they were animated – causing me to discard my initial expectation of what a form might have signaled. The resulting slippages and discrepancies prompted me to include more disparate elements in the rest of my painting.
I have continued making Nomad paintings. After gluing the shapes that I cut onto stretched linen, I deploy both oil and water-based paints to make marks and forms that are antithetical to those shapes. These individual marks often have a solitary bent. I paint onto other shapes, at times integrating them into a larger whole, at times attempting to eradicate them.
The Nomads would be seen best in liminal spaces at irregular intervals: on a wall of a staircase, opposite an elevator, on the exterior wall of an exhibition gallery, on an interior column. These spaces would constitute provisional way stations for the works, and the irregular intervals and placements would allow the viewer’s consideration of the uncertain and contingent place we have in the world. .