PRESS RELEASE - Threads of Memory: Recent Work by Nancy Youdelman

Eight Modern
03/28/2008

April 11-May 18, 2008

Artist’s Reception: Friday, April 11, 5:30-7:30 p.m.

SANTA FE, NEW MEXICO — Eight Modern is pleased to announce its upcoming exhibition, Threads of Memory: Recent Works by Nancy Youdelman.

Both painstakingly personal and remarkably accessible, Youdelman’s mixed-media assemblages explore the threads that connect memory and objects, interweaving broader themes such as love, death, history and femininity.

Youdelman transforms vintage girls’ and women’s clothing with found objects – photographs, letters, jewelry, buttons and even plant material – to create inspired sculptures, bronzes and reliefs.

Youdelman has been perfecting the conversion of cast-off clothing into contemporary art for close to 40 years, ever since her involvement with Judy Chicago in the Feminist Art Program at CalArts and Womanhouse inspired her to transform memories of her mother and her childhood into sculpture.

There is a delicacy reflected in many of her works, such as Bloom (2007), in which a baby’s dress is covered in dried gardenias and coated in unfiltered beeswax — sending a clear message about human fragility.

While Youdelman likes to work with very personal artifacts, such as ball gowns and old letters, her work isn’t meant to recreate the past.

“The idea is that all these things will somehow reconnect in a certain way and create something that was much more than what it started out to be,” Youdelman said.

The artist was an English Literature major at CSU Fresno before going on to study art at Cal Arts (B.A.) and UCLA (M.F.A.), and there’s a clear literary element to her work. Many of her pieces impart feminist messages as well, which Youdelman is not afraid to underscore with clever titles.

Youdelman teaches sculpture at CSU Fresno. She has written for and edited books and received numerous awards, including recent grants from the Pollock-Krasner and the Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Foundations.