Nancy A Friedemann
Nancy Friedemann (Bogota, Colombia) deftly handles an economy of materials in her work. Her large scale drawings allude to minimalism, the Pattern and Decoration movement, and Spanish colonial painting, while exploring the experience of identity, gender, and memory.
Recent solo exhibitions include: Bernice Steinbaum Gallery, Miami, FL (2008); El Museo del Barrio, NYC (2007), Museo Arte Contemporaneo de Puerto Rico (2007), Jersey City Museum, NJ (2007), Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery, Lincoln, NB (2003); Queens Museum of Art, NY (2001), Museo de Arte Contemporaneo Panama (2000). Selected group exhibitions include: Jersey City Museum, NJ (2007) P.S. 1, Queens, NY (2007), John Michael Kohler Arts Center, Sheboygan, WI (2007); Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico (2006), El Museo del Barrio (2005), University Art Museum, University at Albany, NY (2004), Biblioteca Luis Angel Arango, Bogota, Colombia (2004), San Luis Obispo Art Center, CA (2003); Bronx Museum of the Arts, NY (1998); Gasworks, London, UK (2001).
Friedemann has been awarded a Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship (2009), an Artist Pension Trust (2009), a NALAC Visual Arts Grant (2007) and a Visual Arts grant from the Pollock Krasner Foundation, NY (2001). Friedemann also has been nominated for the Rema Hort Mann Foundation Grant (2006) and the Anonymous was a Woman Foundation Grant (2005). She has participated in artist residencies at Fountainhead (2008), Tamarind (2006), Taller Arte dos grafico, Bogota (2005), Yaddo, Saratoga Springs, NY (2000); Gasworks, London (2001); Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, Nebraska, (2001) Bronx Museum of the Arts (1998). Her work has been reviewed by The New York Times (2004, 2002, 1998), Artforum (2004), The Paris Review (2001), Time Out (2002), Art Papers (1998) and Art Nexus (1997) among others.
Friedemann has a Master’s degree from New York University (1997). She lives and works in New York.
Feminist Artist Statement
I examine the invisible paths of cultural memory born from exile from my homeland in Colombia. I do so by using both conceptually and technically, the tools and techniques of drawing and painting. My activity constitutes emotional and intellectual labor, mediated by the mark of the hand. My goal is to use my art to keep women and gender issues in the mainstream, to engender dialogue and constructive dialogue toward making feminist work always relevant.
My aesthetic sense is deeply rooted, in the Spanish Moorish tiles that permeate public and colonial buildings in Colombia, the place where I was born and raised; and second in the hand-made crochets and embroideries that Colombian women born in the early XX century were trained to do.
My interest in lace, crochet patterns and flowers, especially as depicted in 18th-century colonial paintings, the Pattern and Decoration movement of the 1970s and Minimalism bring the conceptual and aesthetic components of my work together.
By creating very large-scale works full of minuscule detail, I correct the historical record, allowing lace and crochet to enter the domains reserved for what is masculine, that which is visible. I do so by making connections between what is modern, masculine, heroic, and monumental, and, through gestures that are tiny and which insubordinate themselves to their size, like one who tries to empty a lake with a teaspoon. These gestures are inward and emotional, and they have to do with what is invisible and difficult to name.
My art is multi-determined and intricately interrelated with the managing of family and career responsibilities. And, my options of life are integrated ethically in my art work, as I challenge the roles that historically have been assigned to women, in terms not only of the division of labor, but also in the division of artistic and intellectual spaces. I examine the invisible paths of cultural memory born from exile from my homeland in Colombia. I do so by using both conceptually and technically, the tools and techniques of drawing and painting. My activity constitutes emotional and intellectual labor, mediated by the mark of the hand. My goal is to use my art to keep women and gender issues in the mainstream, to engender dialogue and constructive dialogue toward making feminist work always relevant.
View Nancy A Friedemann's CV (PDF)