new-york

Nancy Dwyer

Josh Baer

Nancy Dwyer has always treated words as physical objects, realizing them in sculptural form or strewing clunky three-dimensional characters across the blank backgrounds of monumental canvases. Borrowing texts from television and advertising, she attempts to reinvest these hollow slogans with meaning. Words are positioned in ways that invite multiple mix-’n’-match readings. In Matter, 1990, the words “you,” “me,” “leave,” and “be,” printed on spheres resembling atoms in a scientific diagram, form several significant permutations: “You leave me,” “You leave me be,” “Leave me,” “Be me,” etc. Similarly, in Family Secret, 1990, the words “family,” “secret,” “sacred,” and “member” spelled out across a set of dining chairs generate combinations such as “family member,” “sacred family,” and “sacred secret.”

Dwyer has streamlined her work by eliminating the diaphanous figures that floated across

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