A Distant Bell: Nicole Wittenberg x Faye Wei Wei
Cob is proud to present a selection of new work by Nicole Wittenberg and Faye Wei Wei at EXPO CHGO ONLINE, including a selection of monotypes, monoprints, pastel drawings, ink drawings and paintings.
The two artists, based in New York and London, met in 2014 when Wittenberg introduced Wei Wei to traditional monotype and monoprint techniques at the New York Studio School. Forming a bond through shared admiration of one another’s practice and recognising the striking crossovers in their approach to image-making, they became close friends and creative collaborators.
At the same time, the use of a glass plate to produce images which though similar, are not identical, points to a shared awareness of the significance of lens-based technologies in populating the visual imaginary. This consciousness can be traced beyond the monotype and monoprint works in this selection. Rhythmic repetitions and variations, a sense of forms rhyming and converging, degradation of surface through overexposure and blocks of bleached-out empty space – all of these motifs recur through Wittenberg and Wei Wei’s images, balanced on the cusp of becoming and disappearing, where the viewer’s own subjectivity is harnessed to engage with and make sense of what they see.The digital space of EXPO Chicago OVR is apt to Wittenberg and Wei Wei’s creative dialogue, working from their respective studios in New York and London. Just as the pandemic has created blockages and rips in our shared communicative fabric, so it has also enabled rich and enlivening exchanges to take place across great distances: Wittenberg and Wei Wei’s work testifies to this overcoming of space in the digital realm and champions the potency of creative exchange and enduring friendship in a time of great uncertainty and separation.
Preoccupied by the representation of human intimacy and desire, Wittenberg and Wei Wei’s work is poised between the figurative and the abstract. Bodies interact in dreamlike spaces where the real and the symbolic are tangled in embrace. The monotype and monoprint processes offer another key to the consonance between their bodies of work: the premium placed on instantaneity and the direct translation of emotive experience into pigment, where no third parties need intervene in the translation of liquid image to fixed print, is apt to their focus on the image’s implication in the precise moment of feeling that produced it.