Not Just Another Pretty Face 2019

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Nancy Lu Rosenheim

Not Just Another Pretty Face 2019

Program Overview


Nancy Lu Rosenheim

My approach to imagery is corporeal. Humored by the responsiveness of voluptuous forms to the obstacles that violate them, I anthropomorphize my subjects to evoke a feeling of kinetic recognition. For example, a tree oozes over an iron fence like a belly overflows a belt. Soft swallows hard.

Like a cartoonist, I depict manifestations of force action and reaction. As if complicit, objects become verbs: skin recoils, flesh droops, vines choke and fungi cling; tree bark scars leaving crusty scabs, orifices pucker and engulf. Walking through the forest, my world is incarnate.

Valuing nature’s imperfection, my attempts to mimic it are deliberately crude. I prefer the micro-centricity of a thousand hatch marks to a single, sweeping brushstroke. Thus, I use labor-intensive practices to build form and embellish surfaces. I liken the painstaking handiwork of my craft to the obsessive, teaming growth of the woodland, or the microcosm in an egret’s feather.

Material exploration is central to my process. I contrast brute rusticity to refined polish as metaphor for nature to artifice. Polystyrene, gypsum and papier-mâché are staples in my studio. When glossy the resin coats pink Polystyrene, a flush blooms. My work is idiosyncratic, tempered by a sharp, sexual edge.

Exquisite yet sinister abnormalities afflict beasts and fowl. By depicting these, I hope to reveal wildlife’s uncanny ability to adapt to trauma. Among my recent subjects are the blue herons and sandhill cranes of the Midwest, and ostriches and hyenas from my travels in Tanzania. My flamboyant images are intended to presage disease but also reaffirm resilience, ultimately glorifying fauna’s ability to adapt and transfigure.


We can select from a range of mixed media, in two or three-dimensions or somewhere in between. Representation will become refracted through a fantastical lens. If you are thinking of becoming my partner in crime, here are a few suggestions:

  • Hand-painted lithograph or etching
  • Mixed media work on paper
  • Small, free-standing sculpture
  • Bas or high relief – a sculpture that would hang on the wall.
  • Portrait of yourself or loved one as an animal or plant. Be my first sitter for this project!






For more information or to commission a unique work of art through Not Just Another Pretty Face, contact Maria Nelson at or 773.324.5520 x1014.