Los Angeles

Nancy Pierson

Ovsey Gallery

Nancy Pierson’s thoroughly peculiar tableaux of middle-aged women suggest, through their eccentric wordless narratives, the tangled webs of female-to-female relations.

The figures in these charcoal works on paper are positioned with an intentional stiltedness. If pushed much further, this quality could come off as conventionally allegorical; as it is, the slight stiffness contributes to the work’s overall oddness. Making use of smudged areas as well as fine cross-hatching, Pierson’s renderings contain a measure of neo-Gothic spookiness, which is quite magnetic. The women in these works look like character actresses, with broad features and big expressive hands. Unlike actresses, however, they seem as unaware of being looked at as children intent on their play. Some wear glasses, and many of the women are shown with their mouths open. One isn’t sure whether their lips are parted because

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