February 23, 2020


Contemporary Artist Nancy Lorenz to Debut New Works at The San Diego Museum of Art in First Ever Solo Museum Exhibition

From the California Business Journal Arts and Culture Wire

The San Diego Museum of Art will unveil, Nancy Lorenz: Moon Gold, the first solo museum exhibition for the noted contemporary artist Nancy Lorenz, this spring. Organized by The San Diego Museum of Art, the exhibition features more than 85 works, and will survey the art and alchemy of Nancy Lorenz, from painting and sculpture to works on paper. It will also include several new pieces that Lorenz created in dialogue with Japanese works from the Museum’s permanent collection. This is the first time these works of art will be on view.

The New York-based artist’s work is deeply rooted in Japanese traditions. Having trained as a restorer of antique lacquer, Lorenz’s practice as an artist turns on the tension between time-tested methods and more experimental techniques. Alongside folding screens adorned with water-gilding and mother-of-pearl inlay, visitors will encounter paintings made from corrugated cardboard – a sculpting resin that has been used to transform packing cardboard into a ground for gilding. On this semi-corrugated surface, abstract scratches and patterns merge into a landscape composition—an evocation of sea, sky, and slanting rain.

Notable works include the large-scale Rock Garden Room (2004), a monumental ensemble conceived as a contemporary response to Whistler’s Peacock Room, preserved at the Freer Gallery in Washington, DC, as well as a selection of what Lorenz calls “pours.” These abstract compositions involve gestural applications of water-gilded gesso.

As a pavilion in the center of the exhibition, the Rock Garden Room will be flanked by a second space, an intimate study-like setting. A group of small paintings within, and shelves without, will serve to showcase a broad range of materials and motifs, including the grouping of Pours.

Larger paintings, including never-before-seen works prepared for this exhibition, will form a lower perimeter around the Rock Garden Room and study pavilion—an installation inspired by Junichiro Tanizaki’s 1933 essay “In Praise of Shadows.” Dotting the floor, on thin-legged risers, will be boxes of the traditional kind used in Japan to keep tea ceremony vessels; some covered in gilded cardboard, others adorned with lacquer and poured resin.

Completing the arrangement will be three bronze sculptures, displayed, like the boxes, on risers. Recalling rocky silhouettes and mountain pools, these tabletop sculptures—Lorenz’s first foray into cast bronze—refer also to the traditional Japanese art of ikebana flower arrangement.

Lorenz’s work has been shown in major museums and executed in significant commissions around the world, including the Portland Art Museum, the McNay Art Museum, The Beverly Hilton Hotel, the Soho Grand Hotel, Chanel stores in Paris, Hong Kong, Ginza, Dubai and more.

Nancy Lorenz: Moon Gold will be on view beginning April 27 through September 3, 2018.

The San Diego Museum of Art

1450 El Prado Balboa Park, San Diego, CA



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