Nancy Reinker
Emboldened by their immediacy and directness, Nancy Reinker’s works are charged with a pent-up energy that strains the confines of their spatial presence. Through her compositions, the artist challenges us, the viewers, to dismantle our established perceptual and experiential orientation and to redefine our visual language. Raising more questions than they answer, her pieces engage us as partners in exploring and decoding the complexities of the natural world.

Nancy’s Fractured Faces series of drawings offer entry into a fissure between the dimensions, a glimpse at a dissected whole cut into segments. Contorted and disquieting, the heads reveal their essence through a stream of intricate fluid lines that unravel their original structure to regenerate a new life form. This body of work is an outgrowth of Nancy’s practice of drawing daily, a discipline she began in the fall of 2001; emanating largely from her subconscious, her meanderings are surreal in their undertones of automatism. Faces began to materialize from her early abstractions after the attacks of September 11 of that year, rendered as microscopic cross sections that invite reflection and studied examination.

The figures claim entitlement to their existence both as individuals and as a community through their transfer to three-dimensional sculptural heads and torso-like bases. Nancy continues their developmental transformation by breaking the bounds of traditional space. Onto gessoed Styrofoam heads she draws directly or applies transparent photocopies of her initial sketchbook renderings; she slices the form and applies additional materials to insinuate unique personalities. Hovering between the abstract and the figurative, the beings suggest an otherworldliness made available to the viewer.

Nancy’s paintings are also characterized by the leitmotifs of fracturing the biomorphic and organic forms and the genesis of a new pictorial vocabulary. Her abstracted imagery bursts forth with a potent force that threatens to escape beyond the perimeters of the canvas.

In Jewel Mountain, fragments seem to jettison away from the central structure and yet remain anchored in space. The tension created by this exploding dynamism balanced by tight control is palpable. Cellular matter bubbles up, replenishing life to a degenerating central nucleus. This formal drama, played out in Head’s Up, is reiterated by expanses of intense color vying for dominance.

In Fractured Spring, more subtle tonalities sing a quieter tune while suggesting an implosive dance. The dark backgrounds in Fleshing Out and Fractured Figure push the action to the immediate foreground, compounding the power of the focal point. Layered witnesses the compression of a conflation of natural elements and facial parts into a dense planar montage of personal symbols.

Nancy Reinker’s works propose a narrative of life’s processes that elicits individual reading and interpretation. She pares down the complex, instilling her simplified natural forms with abounding spirit.

Marianne Brunson Frisch