On February 16, CATM chelsea opened Desde la Tierra al Cielo, “From Earth To Heaven,” a critical solo exhibition for Spanish-born multimedia artist Nuria Román who has continued to confront the innate reciprocality between human and nature. CATM’s Desde la Tierra al Cielo is comprised of various mixed-media works combining paint, ceramic, stone, metal, woodprint, site-specific installation and photography.
Román was born in Madrid and studied design at the Instituto Artístico de Enseñanza in Madrid. She had worked and lived in Holland and the United States before making her way to Menorca, where she resided. She became extremely interested in Menorca’s ecosystem as it were located in the center of the Western Mediterranean with one of the largest natural harbors in the world. An artist could utilize natural found objects, such as washed-up timber, with neither sacrificing its life nor straining the active ecosystem.
The most impressive piece in the show is an installation of monumental, phallic driftwood trunks mounted on bronze that were installed on an ocean shore and documented by photography. Román chisels or carves imperfect rectangular windows through the wood, as if to render an androgynous natural shape. Each alludes to human’s rash inhabitation of the earth, however her sensual contours render a nearly-abstracted body of work, thus emphasizing aesthetics not simply her long-term goal to use art as a catalyst—a catalyst that would yield an overall understanding of our environmental interaction. Román entitles these sculptures needles alluding to the natural thread sewing human with nature.
Desde la Tierra al Cielo will be on view at CATM chelsea, 500 West 22nd Street, until March 18th, 2012.