Pillar of Earth 1, 2020.
Glazed earthenware with bucket and bungees.
32H x 18W x 17.5D
October 8 - November 7, 2020
Nicki Green's work carves out spaces for LGBTQ+ people and reimagines a world that centers their life experiences. Informed by her Jewish faith, her work explores practices and mythologies steeped in an inclusivity that is often not seen in more traditional settings. For Green, clay is the perfect medium for its malleability and transmutational qualities - a metaphor for her life journey and a statement of her resiliency. This exhibition provides a survey of her major bodies of work - Morel Figures, Bricks and her latest series, Pillar of Earth.
This is Green's first Solo exhibition in Boston.
NICKI GREEN, Pillar of Earth 1
NICKI GREEN is a transdisciplinary artist working primarily in clay. Originally from New England, she lives and works in the San Francisco Bay Area. She completed her BFA in sculpture from the San Francisco Art Institute in 2009 and her MFA in Art Practice from the University of California, Berkeley in 2018.
Her sculptures, ritual objects and various flat works explore topics of history preservation, conceptual ornamentation and aesthetics of otherness. Green has exhibited her work internationally, notably at the New Museum, New York; The Contemporary Jewish Museum, San Francisco; Rockelmann & Partner Gallery, Berlin, Germany.
She has contributed texts to numerous publications including a recent piece in Duke University Press’ Transgender Studies Quarterly and a piece in Fermenting Feminism, Copenhagen. In 2019, Green was a finalist for the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art’s SECA Award, a recipient of an Arts/Industry Residency from the John Michael Kohler Art Center, among other awards. In October 2020, Green will be presenting her first east coast solo exhibition at LaiSun Keane in Boston, MA.
Excerpt from Jenni Sorkin's essay:
Addressing the gender complexities of Jewish death rituals, Pillar of Earth (all 2020) is Green’s most recent body of work. A series of ten bucket stands, Green extends the timeline of ritual cleansing to the moments beyond life, including the washing of the recently deceased. In the midst of a worldwide pandemic, this has strong resonance. Each work bucket is itself a found object, emblazoned with a contemporary logo, adapted to a wide variety of functions, from carrying tools to storing kosher pickles. Each rests on a handmade ceramic pedestal, embellished with a textured honeycomb patterning and her signature hexagram latticework with purple “grout.” These works are based upon the tradition known as “Shemira,” the washing and watching over the body from death until burial, a liminal, transcendent time in which certain rites are performed in order to guard the spirit, still considered present in the body. These guardians are gendered positions: a shomeret for women, and a shomer for men. With these works, Green provides a pathos for the disparity—and despair—of how a Jewish non-gender conforming person such as herself would be attended, and perceived. These works highlight the elegiac mysticism and transcendent beauty of Jewish ritual. Anything less is considered a humiliation of the dead.