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Nancy Brooks Brody

Ode

April 5 - May 11, 2024

Opening Reception : April 5, 2024 6-8 pm

Klaus von Nichtssagend Gallery announces Ode, an exhibition of Nancy Brooks Brody’s final body of work, following the artist’s passing in December 2023. The show will consist of stretched raw canvases of varying sizes, each displaying two colors of roughly circular paper shapes. The works were made from 2022-2023, with the most recent completed during the last week of Brody’s life.

Throughout their lifetime making artwork, Brody was engaged in investigating the power of the studio practice as an assertion of an inner self within a tumultuous city and society. Brody was also well known as a founding member of the queer art collective, fierce pussy. Starting in 1991, through their immersion in AIDS activism fierce pussy brought lesbian identity and visibility directly into the streets. Throughout this time, Brody was making their own deeply personal work in the studio, a private space of creative potential. Always in conversation with the legacy of minimalism, Brody created pared-down paintings, drawings, embroidery, sculpture and architectural interventions that emphasized the human hand. Their works require the viewer to look slowly and deeply, whether at white threads stitched into white paper, faint gray webs spreading over pale-washed panels, or strips of lead – bare or painted with monochromatic enamels – embedded into the walls of the rooms they inhabit. Brody’s work celebrates the duality of ephemerality and permanence as a way to examine life, the body, and time.

In these last works, Brody’s precise touch is evident in the use of thin, colored tissue papers, torn into rounded shapes, then arranged and adhered to raw canvas. The rounded forms have soft, frayed edges, and color bleeds lightly onto the cotton background. As the tissue papers are affixed to the canvas, they become slightly wrinkled, holding the action of adhesion – and obliquely referring to practices of wall-mounting posters with wheat paste familiar to Brody from their work in fierce pussy. Each canvas holds two elements, hovering in varying degrees of proximity, which sometimes wrap around the edge of the stretcher bars, creating a charge of energy between them. Brody places the black shapes on the bottom, a solid base upon which the top form can dance, rest, or rise. The colors of the top form, green, red, gray, violet, yellow are carefully chosen. As a group these last works continue Brody’s engagement with minimalism and materiality, while their boulder-like shapes exemplify a prominence and weight that asserts their presence. The pairings in each canvas emphasize the power of relationships, as within the room the works shift in scale and color, moving from one piece to the next and expanding those relationships to a larger experience.

Collaboratively selected by the gallery with Marisa Cardinale and Joy Episalla, co-executors of the estate and co-trustees of the Nancy Brooks Brody 711 Church Foundation, the exhibition is accompanied by a color catalogue with essay by Jill H. Casid, Professor of Visual Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison/Unceded Territory of the Ho- Chunk Nation.

Catalog

Nancy Brooks Brody Ode, 2024

5.5 x 8.5 inch, 44 pages, perfect bound,soft cover, full color catalog of Nancy Brooks Brody’s 2024 exhibition, Ode at Klaus von Nichtssagend Gallery.

Press

Nancy Brooks Brody in T Magazine

Nancy Brooks Brody’s show “Ode” is previewed by Laura Bannister in The New York Times T Magazine

Exhibition

Nancy Brooks Brody

Nancy Brooks Brody’s 2019 exhibition at Klaus von Nichtssagend Gallery.