Dirty was a two-person exhibition of new works by Paul Nudd and Casey Ann Wasniewski that examined the uncanny similarities between geology and biology through paintings and sculptures. Animal, vegetable, or mineral? There is no separation of categories visible in the respective works of these two artists. Mining the murky ambiguous matter where all three elements meet provides fertile ground to cultivate imagery that could be subterranean as equally as it could exist within the human cavity.
Paul Nudd pushed his signature biomorphic shapes and encrusted textures into an expanded graphic (sub)landscape with a new series of five cavernous 6 x 8 foot grayscale paintings. Previous work by Nudd include colorful drawings often depicting comic book representations of bugs or video works that concentrate on bubbling paint that simultaneously reminding one of the body’s interior and the mouth of a natural spring gurgling up from the earth. The five canvases that debuted in Dirty incorporate grotesque items–synthetic hair and little balls of clay that resemble dried mucus–that drive the art historical read of the body-as-landscape further into a molecular level where all elements appear the same at the core.
Equally tactile, the amorphous soft sculptures by Casey Ann Wasniewski contain sprigs of horse hair in odd places and patches of dark fur infusing these objects with a life of their own, perhaps extraterrestrial. Wasniewski knits wool yarn using the French knot, then sews the yarn onto industrial felt to make the substantial crater-like shapes. Intentionally mounted on sterile steel rods, the sculptures incorporate the aesthetic of a natural science museum display raising questions regarding the inspirational origin of this type of artifact.