Nick van Woert’s (1979 Reno, US) practice is rooted in his architectural background and reflects on modern day society, technology and progress. Van Woert works with contemporary materials that are ubiquitous in the environment around us, investigating the extreme polarity materials can traverse. Fascinated by the material language of art and what things consist of, he dismantles and strips down objects to examine what remains.
For the upcoming solo presentation, You Are What You Eat, at GRIMM New York, Nick van Woert will present a selection of sculptures and wall-based works that turn the gallery basement space into a digestive tract. The reliefs that will be on display are part of an ongoing series which was first shown in 2014 at the Museo d’Arte Moderna di Bologna, Italy, for van Woert’s solo exhibition Nature Calls. The free-standing sculptures are a mutation of a more recent series that centers on collections of everyday objects and materials that constitute the artist’s daily environment.
Van Woert combines industrial materials, such as steel and coal slag with ephemeral consumer goods like cat litter and Coca-Cola, to look at how our landscape has changed, highlighting the integration of man-made objects as a part of our natural world. For van Woert, the materials and our means of production are a reflection of who we are. Van Woert’s use of construction materials is influenced by his architectural background; he creates structures which give the prosaic a monumental form. This can be seen in his recent series of free-standing sculptures. These works are part anatomical, bringing to mind a dissected body, and part archeological, creating a spectacle of our hobbies and proclivities. The wall-based works demand a different kind of looking. These layered works display a kind of marbling which evokes the beauty of the natural world, combined with the vernacular anti- commercial style of Arte Povera. For this exhibition, these two series will be brought together for the first time, creating an interplay between contrasting elements in the artist’s oeuvre. In the process of incorporating or ‘absorbing’ materials, such as in the enzymatic processes of digestion, van Woert brings awareness to our chronic consumption.
Opening: Wednesday September 4th from 6-8pm
GRIMM Press Release