Mendes Wood DM presents Eary Poise, Iulia Nistor’s first solo exhibition in São Paulo. The artist introduces her new paintings on wood.
These works are the result of a method that consists in overlapping various layers of paint and repeatedly removing them with paper pressings and sandpaper. The negotiation between informing and discharging the image, and the process of constant observation, create a sensual field from which the artist distills signifying gestures and forms.
The title of the exhibition, Eary Poise, refers to the fluid in the inner ear that is responsible for our sense of balance. Depending on whether one reads it or hears it, the term eary evokes different meanings. Poise, on the other hand, has different connotations depending on the context it is used in: it can describe a state of composure, but also a condition of suspension, or label the mass of metal used for weighing. We can find a clue for these disparate meanings in the etymologic root of the word, the latin word pensare, which means to weigh, to compare, to think. Thus the title Eary Poise highlights an aspect of Nistors paintings, which links the initial impulse for a painting – an instant of disbalance or uncertainty – with the method decisions that are made during the process of painting. The body becomes the weight, the embodied criterion in the thinking process.
Over the past two years Iulia Nistor is developing Pieces of Evidence, a format of paintings that share the same dimensions and are painted in oil on wood. The initial impulse for them is the sensation of uncertainty or disorientation, provoked by a situation, image or thought. She starts by depicting the obvious: an impression of the initial sensation. After putting this layer, she subtracts from the image, either by taking away parts of the still wet color with a sheet of paper or, if in a dry state, sanding or scraping off what is irrelevant. In a long process of putting and taking away, she proceeds with everything that is related to the primal sensation, or which comes up during painting. As a result, the leftover fragments of multiple layers sediment and form a ground. Only once this sensual field is achieved, eventually a signifying form, gesture or composition can emerge from it.
Nistor is interested in investigating those moments of uncertainty, because these usually indicate a contradiction or rupture between what is expected and what is perceived in a given situation. A rupture which also separates for a moment a property from its object in a way that is perceivable to the senses and not only theoretical. How to represent a quality without the object it is attributed to, is one of the main questions hereby. The dialectic method of putting and taking away is meant to abstract the respective property from the particular situation or context it appeared in. The decisions during this negotiation are based on instinctive reactions and thus try to access an embodied knowledge rather than following a preconceived vision.
The ground is essential in the artist’s work process, both in the physical and metaphysical way. It is the reference of equilibrium that the body has, which occurs into the relation of the body and the wood and coordinates the interaction of forces hereby. Creating the pictorial ground, in Iulia Nistor’s case, constitutes the main part of the work. It is a digging in order to find clues, a getting to the bottom and thus finding the reason. By transposing the artistic labor for the act of observation, the exhibition room is determinant for the perception of the work. The exhibition presents paintings that choreograph the process and the reactions generated during her investigation, works which access the sensibility of the visitor and ask him to reorganize certainties about the relation of space and paintings.
Iulia Nistor (1985, Bucharest) lives and works in Frankfurt am Main.
Her solo exhibitions include: Canary in a coal mine, Plan B, Berlin (2017); Before Interpretation, Galeria Electroputere, Craiova (2015); …/…/…, Strabag Kunstforum, Vienna (2015); (i)… (ii)… (iii)… (iv)…, Aiurart Contemporary Art Space,Bucharest (2014). Her work has been presented in group exhibitions such as: Ella CB & Iulia Nistor, JOHAN, Frankfurt am Main (2017); Track Changes, Mendes Wood DM, São Paulo (2016); Gardeners Digest – The Yew, Societas Horti (CCA), Tbilisi (2016); The Real Kiss, JOHAN, Frankfurt am Main (2016); DIY Immortality Program (MTL II), Heute:, Nuremberg (2015); Into Black, Sala Tipografia, Bucharest (2015); Preisträgerausstellung, Strabag Kunstforum, Vienna (2014); Escapes: Colony. Endocosmos. Ulysses. Unsent Postcards, Museo Guerra Junqueiro, Porto (2013).