Nancy Davidson

N.A.M.E. Gallery

Nancy Davidson tapes off a randomly selected area of wooden floor, covers it with a paper strip, and makes a transfer rubbing of the wood-grain to the strip. Depending upon the number of strips she needs for a piece, she may rub the same floor area as many as 40 or 50 times. The clarity or smudginess of the transferred wood-grain reveals accidents of the rubbing process: pressure of the hand, position of the body, or level of fatigue. She then tapes the finished strips on the wall in various arrangements.

Though scaled to exhibition-site dimensions, the strips are premade at the studio. They line up in symmetry, asymmetry, or modular regularity, with any effect of stasis or animation created by their proportions alone. Like an architectural window-wall her paper strips have the appearance of a skin stretched over a support, a skin that celebrates the qualities of the structure that holds

to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and get the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.