Nancy Baker is compelled to put things together; underscoring the process of combining and interlocking forms in elegant configurations, she interweaves mathematical data in her constructions that speak to her need for stasis and a reliable reality. The recently new experience of living once again in an urban environment has made sensitized her to the dominating forces of infrastructure, and to those corresponding interstitial spaces that, arouse wonder and anxiety. The competition for space and sky has been instructive; her work reflects this struggle by recreating the battlefield in the studio, and attempting to tame it, and ultimately, to own it.
For Baker, there is solace in the geometry of fundamentals, and in a practice that focuses on the ephemeral nature of paper and the ease of its transportability, which allows her to create large scale constructions. Working in components, she can build very large installations that are multilayered, and can significantly project outwards. Sometimes she weave in words and phrases, but seeks to partly obscure the written content, by painting and slicing into the letters, integrating them into the overall structure of the piece. These typographical elements are usually simple phrases, expressing her frustrations with a singularly disordered and impenetrable world. The phrase, “Mistakes Were Made”, signify a contemporary fear and suspicion that perhaps the enemy is invisible and unaccountable.
These paper constructions combine digitally printed, hand and laser cut geometric shapes that are painted, sprayed, scraped and gouged. Incorporated into these paper, polystyrene and Mylar sections are glitter, paint, modeling paste, gold leaf, printed commercial matter and recycled paper pulp forms.
Nancy Baker earned her BFA from the School of Visual Arts, New York, NY. Her work has been widely exhibited throughout the US, including ODETTA Gallery in Brooklyn, NY; Front Room Gallery in Brooklyn, NY; Mark Moore Gallery, CA; Winkleman Gallery, NYC; Schema Projects, Brooklyn, NY; Marcia Wood Gallery, Atlanta, GA; Greenhill Center, Greensboro, NC; Jancar Gallery, Los Angeles, CA; NC Museum of Art, Raleigh, NC; 1708 Gallery, Richmond VA; Heriard Cimino Gallery in NOLA; and Lump Gallery, Raleigh, NC.
She has received numerous awards, including two North Carolina Artists Fellowships, a Tennesse Individual Artist Fellowship, and an NEA Southern Arts Fellowship.
She was awarded a commission with MTA Arts and Design for two train stations in Brooklyn, which was fabricated in stainless steel. Last year she was commissioned to create a new work for Karen Brooks Hopkins, the Director of Brooklyn Academy of Music.
Her work is included in numerous public and private collections including the International Collage Center, Bucknell, PA; US Embassy, Kiev, Ukraine; Wellington Art Collection, Boston; City of Raleigh Municipal Art Collection, Raleigh, NC; North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh NC; MCI Corporation, Raleigh NC; Reynolds Industries, Winston-Salem, NC; Herman Miller, New York, NY; Bellevue Hospital Center, New York, NY; TRW, Cleveland, OH; American Hospital Corporation, Nashville, TN; First Nation Bank, Nashville, TN, among others.
She has participated in several artist residencies including Casa de Mateus, Vila Real, Portugal, and Studio Camnitzer, Valdottavo, Italy.