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/ Exhibitions / Folded and Gathered: Nicole Pietrantoni

Folded and Gathered: Nicole Pietrantoni

July 1, 2022 – February 4, 2023(This exhibition has passed.)

Nicole Pietrantoni’s books and installations explore the representation of beauty in times of loss, photography’s role in producing memory and humans’ relationship to the environment. Taking an experimental approach to the book form, her art asks how the book and printed matter can both enable and undercut humans’ active role in constructing and idealizing images. Rather than a fixed site or single image, the fragmented paper columns, text and book forms engage the world as an unstable accumulation of processes, perceptions and narratives.

Nicole Pietrantoni; Still Life (persimmon tree),Inkjet on Kozo paper, acrylic paint, bound into 9 accordion books.

Nicole Pietrantoni; Still Life (persimmon tree),Inkjet on Kozo paper, acrylic paint, bound into 9 accordion books.

Nicole Pietrantoni; From the Folded & Gathered series

Artist statement

I make inkjet-printed accordion books on Japanese papers that expand to create large-scale installations. It is this tension of creating works that are both/and that interests me – work that is both print and book, both 2D and 3D, both static and dynamic, constantly in flux, slipping between categories. All of the work is rooted in an interest in an expanded definition of the book and its metaphoric potential at a time of all-things-digital. I see the book (and the subsequent pages, folds, fragments, and surfaces) as sites of inquiry to explore our experience and the construction of knowledge. 

In my work I print with CMYK halftone dots and use other interventions like cuts and folds to draw attention to the production of the printed image – to point to how the image is created, framed and embedded in popular culture. While nature has often been the subject matter of my work, I have also explored photography’s inability to document what we see and experience, questioned how we use beauty in times of loss and developed a deep interest in abstraction and color.

Much of my work is informed by time spent living in beautiful but ecologically fragile landscapes. In each work I take apart and compress photographs of a hyper-colored sunsets, weeds I see on walks and flowers from urban garden beds. I print my photographs on rolls of delicate Japanese paper and then bind them into books or adhere the images onto bent steel armatures. I spray the back of each column with a neon red paint that casts a glowing pink color on the gallery wall. All of the folds, fragments, and shadows point to an image that is at once beautiful but also broken and highly constructed.

— Nicole Pietrantoni

About the artist

Nicole Pietrantoni’s artwork explores the complex relationship between human beings and nature via installations, artists’ books and works on paper. She is the recipient of numerous awards including a Fulbright to Iceland, an Artist Trust Fellowship, a Larry Sommers Printmaking Fellowship, a Leifur Eiríksson Foundation Grant, the Manifest Prize, and a Graves Award for Excellence in Humanities Research and Teaching. 

Nicole has been awarded artist residencies at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, Anderson Ranch Arts Center, Facebook Open Arts and the Venice Printmaking Studio, amongst others. She has given over 30 lectures about her work around the country and her art has been in over 100 national and international exhibitions, including solo exhibitions at the Coos Museum of Art, Kimball Arts Center, the Lamar Dodd School of Art and the San Juan Islands Museum of Art. Her artwork is in over 20 collections including Yale University, the Library of Congress, Zahed University-United Arab Emirates, University of Iowa Museum of Art and the Zuckerman Museum of Art.

She received her MFA and MA in Printmaking from the University of Iowa and her BS in Human and Organizational Development and Art History from Vanderbilt University. Nicole served as the President of SGC International in 2016 – 18, the largest professional organization dedicated to scholarship in printmaking, book art, and papermaking in North America.

Nicole is an Associate Professor of Art at Whitman College where she teaches printmaking and book arts. She is represented by Long-Sharp Gallery.

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