September 25th - December 6th, 2020
In her current exhibition, stacked, Nicole Cherubini continues to explore the presence and purpose of objects, as well as what it means to occupy space.
With her keen attention to context, Cherubini counter-intuits limitations of scale, and maximizes constraints. Rather than scaling down to meet the architecture, she scales up to “fit” the dimensions of the room. And rather than restraining, she encompasses the space providing a single, low stool for a solitary viewer to become engulfed by the dense display.
Stacked is the first exhibition wherein Cherubini predominately presents wall-hung works. Framed works and clay objects are suspended on the wall and placed closely beside and on top of one-another. Through manipulations of perspective, she is forcing a more formal reading while inciting an unfamiliar territory. The photographic imagery itself is dense and packed with stacked objects. One of the wall works is a digital print of an early drawing of hers. The image itself is a hybridization of a Mexican pot, a George Ohr pot, a Brothers Kirkpatrick piece, the Portland vase and one of the artist’s own sculptures. Material and subject here are several stages past the relevance of origin.
Cherubini’s pairing, stacking, inverting and layering are acts of restructuring known aesthetics and of expanding staid perception. She opens up questions and challenges the notion of aesthetic: what, why and how this develops. There is precedence at play here, present in the black and white photographs of culturally and personally historic places, that Cherubini’s grandmother, Rose, and Isabella Stewart Gardner respectively created. The generative influence of these two pioneering and creative women is both her given and chosen heritage. There is a future at play here, present in the black and white photo of Cherubini’s daughter, her form doubled and extending forward through the body of the clay object.
Cherubini approaches each of these sculptural works as objects and places within diverse histories, and with this, there potential to rework, reform and possibly repair.
The exhibition follows Cherubini’s 2019 residency at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.