Nasher Sculpture Center Announces Sightings: Anna-Bella Papp

Nasher to Present First U.S. Museum Exhibition of Artist’s Work
On View October 25, 2014 through January 18, 2015
The Nasher Sculpture Center announces Sightings: Anna-Bella Papp from October 25, 2014 through January 18, 2015. Sightings: Anna-Bella Papp continues the Nasher’s Sightings series of exhibitions and installations by emerging and established contemporary artists.

“We look forward to presenting Anna-Bella’s first museum show in the United States. Her work quietly and articulately challenges the traditional uses of clay while also making subtle inroads between sculptural modes of expression, from the ancient method of relief to the discreet, minimal object,” said Director Jeremy Strick. “The architectural references within these objects will also play off the clean lines and nuances of the Nasher’s architecture, making for a wonderful dialogue between the artwork and its habitat within the museum.”

Anna-Bella Papp makes exquisitely restrained works in unfired clay. Occupying tabletops, the sculpted reliefs are intimate in scale yet suggest objects and spaces many times their size. Many of the works recall low-relief architectural models or site plans for minimalist earthworks. They also call to mind modernist reliefs by artists as diverse as Jean Arp, Alberto Giacometti, and Ben Nicholson. Although relatively flat, the works are resolutely sculptural, often worked on both faces and even, at times, their edges. In this spare, rectangular format, subtle inflections and minor surface articulations take on surprising power. Papp harnesses this extraordinary economy of means to moving effect. The works are at once abstract, yet highly suggestive, the most recent work drawing on literature, poetry, and life in the Eternal City, Rome, where Papp lives.  

Born in Romania in 1988 and currently living and working in Rome, Papp’s Sightings exhibition at the Nasher Sculpture Center will be the first solo museum presentation of her work. Organized by Nasher Chief Curator Jed Morse, the exhibition will be accompanied by the first museum publication on the artist’s work.

Sightings is a series of small-scale exhibitions and installations that invites established and emerging contemporary sculptors from across Texas and around the world to create new work, sometimes in response to the unique collection and architectural context of the Nasher Sculpture Center.  The series focuses on artists whose work draws on modernist precedents, yet reconsiders accepted notions and generates new ideas about modern and contemporary sculpture.  In doing so, the exhibitions expand upon, invigorate, and re-contextualize the Raymond and Patsy Nasher Collection, which is noted for its strong holdings in work by modern masters such as Calder, Giacometti, Matisse, Miró, Moore, Picasso, Rodin, and David Smith, among others.  

In addition, inviting contemporary artists to engage the variety of spaces of the Nasher Sculpture Center in new, thought-provoking ways provides occasions to examine the evolving relationship between sculpture and architecture, also a hallmark of the modernist era. Previous Sightings installations at the Nasher have included works by Martin Creed and Diana Al-Hadid.

The Sighting Series is generously sponsored by Lara and Stephen Harrison and the Avant-Garde Society of the Nasher Sculpture Center. 
Sightings: Anna-Bella Papp