Traywick Contemporary is pleased to announce Trace: an exhibition of new sculpture and installations by Bay Area artist Nancy Mintz. For her third solo show with the gallery, Mintz explores the relationship between personal identity and the natural environment, and the ways in which environmental and human-made forces shape our lives.
Creating a visual language from forms that exist in nature, she is interested in hybrid states that exist between the natural and synthetic, as well as between the referential and the abstract. Mintz captures the moments and energy of transition between these states: her shapes are pushing up from the ground, burrowing into the wall, growing from a surface, or moving in concert, guided by an unseen, primal force.
Employing two primary materials, metal and paper, Mintz manipulates brass and steel as some artists might wield a pencil to make a drawing—bending and soldering the fine gauge wire in a gestural manner that reflects the artist’s hand and also implies movement or growth. For instance, the Sporeling series began with her attempt to map the interior of a flower, becoming a topographical view or intricate detail of an unseen landscape. While her structures incorporate intricate geometric patterns, the overall physicality of each piece reflects the organic imperfections found in nature.
Mintz covers the metal armatures in a soft Japanese Gampi paper, forming a tactile surface that both filters and deflects light, giving the work an ethereal presence. The nearly translucent surfaces underscore the transitory state of each work, while evoking a fragility that contradicts the earth-bound metal work. This intimate, anticipatory interaction reflects Mintz's larger studio practice, which is rooted in the act of discovery and a sense of wonder.
Nancy Mintz received a BFA from California College of Art, Oakland and an MFA from Mills College in 1993. A former resident at Kala Art Institute in Berkeley, Mintz has developed her practice both as a sculptor and a printmaker. Her work has been exhibited at noted venues such the California Craft Museum, Bolinas Museum, Riverside Museum of Art, Southern Exposure, Nevada City Center for the Arts, Catharine Clark Gallery and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art Artist Gallery.