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NANCY AZARA--Artworks for Sale.   BIDDINGTON'S ART GALLERY--More Paintings and Sculpture.

Creative Process at Biddington's
Nancy Azara carvings Changes


CREATIVE PROCESS visits the Tribeca (New York City) studio
of noted sculptor and founding member of the feminist art movement Nancy Azara.

Nancy Azara wood bas-relief sculpture group Changes: Small Trio (above)

September 17-December 11, 2005
State University of New York, New Paltz
Artist's Reception: Saturday, September 17, 2 to 4pm

View online Nancy AZARA Exhibition "Memorial to Spirit" InterChurch Center, New York City from September 2002

Nancy AZARA: I started my professional career as a costume designer. But there were too many factors inhibiting my creativity. I wanted to make things that no one would interfere with.

Nancy Azara carving wooden blocks

Nancy AZARA: I like the durability of wood and the process of carving. What I do in wood is a lot like the way the Abstract Expressionist action painters painted. I use a lot of physical energy in making my carvings.

Nancy AZARA: These wooden panels (see left photograph) are roughly 12" square. First, I make a drawing on the panel, next I carve it using a wood chisel and mallet. Then I paint the panel with tempera paint. To certain panels, I apply gold leaf or aluminum leaf. The painting and gilding clothe the raw wood.

Azara's workbench with pigment and raw wood blocks

Nancy AZARA: The pigment colors are reds, violets, browns and earthy greens. The panels can be mounted individually, as pairs or larger groups in a flexible presentation format.

Workbench in Azara's Studio with Pigment and Raw Blocks

Nancy Azara goldleafoval and violet tree form

Nancy Azara wood bas-relief sculpture
Changes: Gilded Oval and Changes: Olive Tree

Nancy Azara crayon rubbing and collage

Nancy AZARA: This rubbing is made from a carved panel before the wood is painted. I press the vellum against the raw panel and rub with graphite and sometimes with oil crayon.

Nancy Azara rubbing with collage Doorway

Nancy AZARA: Looking at Gauguin's incredible wood block prints--the way he used his chisel and the slight shift in registration in the printing--probably influenced my process in making these rubbings.

Azara bronze sculpture

Nancy AZARA: When I was young, women weren't taken seriously as sculptors. I recall an instructor who taught at The Art Students' League offering his own special "lectures for the ladies"; the teacher described making sculpture in phrases such as: "You make a head like you're shaping a meatball."

Nancy AZARA: Many women had the experience in art school of being made to produce work with which they weren't comfortable because the teachers felt that women's themes were too emotional and not significant enough. In 1977, with Miriam Shapiro and 6 others, I founded the New York Feminist Art Institute, Women's Center for Learning (NYFAI) . Our goal was to provide women artists the opportunity to explore the feminist aesthetic without the interference of male teachers.

Nancy Azara bronze sculpture
Heart and Hand

Nancy AZARA: Especially in the early years, feminist art had a communal creative aspect with which I wasn't particularly comfortable. But it was an incredibly exciting time, and it was useful to hear each other's stories and to enjoy the support of a community. Feminist artist groups gave me an audience when I didn't have an audience. In 1989, we closed the school. Amazingly, people were beginning to write about "post-feminism"...

Page from Nancy Azara's Italian Notebook

Nancy AZARA: Last year, I received a Bogliasco Foundation Grant and spent late summer working on the Italian Riviera. During my stay there, I produced a notebook of drawings and collage; some of the images are inspired by olive trees. Olive trees read like human forms. In my sculpture, the tree is an aspect of me.

View slideshow presentation of
Nancy Azara's Bogliasco Notebook

Wall with carvings in Azara's studio

"Azara's work, in the tradition of Louise Bourgeois and Louise Nevelson, is a layered metaphor for the shaping of self and the construction of a psychic home. How may the corporeal-the very matter of the (feminine) body-be conceptualized in relation to the spiritual? What is the relation between the (feminine) body and the natural? How is the experience of our body shaped by culture?

Refusing an already understood equivalence between Woman, the (feminine) body, and a (pornographic) sexuality, Azara has adopted the tree, 'a material vessel of the spiritual,' as a metaphor for the self."

--"Sacred Dwellings: The Work of Nancy Azara" by Flavia Rando, 1994

Azara wood carvings pair

Nancy Azara wood bas-relief sculpture
Changes: Landscape and Changes: 3 Figures

Nancy AZARA: The spiritual in art interests me: work like Lenore Tawney's fiber art or the art of William Blake. The human spirit maintains itself in spite of everything.

Nancy Azara in her studio

Nancy AZARA: I work with things we see around us and things we feel inside of us. As the southern Italian proverb says: "One must see the world with one eye open and one eye closed."

Nancy Azara

View bronze sculpture, wood carvings, rubbings and mixed-media drawings by Nancy Azara offered for sale in
Biddington's Contemporary Art Gallery.
Price range: $375-$7,500

Nancy Azara reviews in major publications (abbreviated list):
ART in AMERICA--June 2000
SCULPTURE Magazine--July/August 2000
NEW YORK TIMES--Feb11, 2000

Comments by Nancy Azara on Meret Oppenheim Exhibition at the Guggenheim Museum.

Nancy Azara one-woman exhibitions and commissions (abbreviated list):
2005 Dorsky Museum of Art, SUNY New Paltz, NY
2003 Commission: Doctors' Wall, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, NJ
2002 The InterChurch Center, New York, NY
2002 Western Wyoming Community College Art Gallery, Rock Springs, WY
2001 Colburn Gallery, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT
2000 Donahue/Sosinski, New York, NY
1999 SACI Gallery, Florence Italy
1998 The Art Studio at Woodstock, Woodstock, NY
1998 Gwinnett Fine Arts Center, Duluth, GA
1997 Donahue/Sosinski Art Gallery, New York, NY
1997 Rudolph E. Lee Gallery at the College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities. Clemson University, Clemson, S.C.
1997 The Gertrude Herbert Institute of Art, Augusta, GA.
1996 Art Space, Jersey City State College, Jersey City, N.J. 1995 Tweed Museum of Art, Duluth, MN (catalogue)
1994 EM Donahue Gallery, New York, NY
1994 AIR Gallery, New York, NY (catalogue)

Nancy Azara awards, grants and fellowships (abbreviated list):
2000 Bogliasco Foundation Grant, Italy
1995 Jessica Cosgrove Achievement Award, Finch College Alumnae Association, NY
1994 Susan B. Anthony Award, NY N.O.W.
1993 International Friends of Transformative Art Award
1985 Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Foundation Grant


CREATIVE PROCESS at Biddington's is designed as a forum for watching art in the making. Usually, this process happens in the privacy of the artist's studio. At BIDDINGTON'S Contemporary Art Gallery & upmarket, online art & antiques auction--we find it interesting to witness the steps leading to the end product and to hear the artists speak about their work in the relaxed surroundings of their own studios.

Contact Biddington's

Sigmund Abeles Expressive Realist Painter
Javier Astorga Figurative Metal Sculpture
Nancy Azara Sculptor
Tova Beck-Friedman Sculptor & Mixed-Media Artist
Todd Bellanca Abstract Painter
Carol Bruns Bronze Figurative Sculptor
James Burnett Non-Objective Painter
Garrison Buxton Abstract Paintings on Paper
Cynthia Capriata Peruvian Painter & Printmaker
Catalina Chervin Argentine Surrealist Artist
Diane Churchill Expressionist Painter
John Clem Clarke Pop Artist
Lisa Dinhofer Illusionist Painter
Michael Eastman Faux-Primitive Painter
Eduardo Fausti Natural History Paintings
Lynne Frehm New York Abstract Painter
Betsey Garand Organic Abstract Painter & Fine Art Printmaker
Mary Teresa Giancoli Personal Documentary Photographer
Debora Gilbert-Ryan New Image Painter
Janet Goldner African-Influenced Steel Sculpture
Harry Gordon Monumental Sculpture
Marilyn Greenberg Narrative Abstract Painter
Patricia Hansen Portrait and Still Life Painter
Richard Heinrich Welded Steel Sculpture
Charles Hewitt Painter & Monotype Printmaker
Diane Holland Intermedia Collage Artist
GH Hovagimyan Pop/Conceptual Artist
LA Hughes Pop Artist
Frances Jetter Bronze Sculptor & Editorial Illustrator
Scott Kahn Fantasy Painter
Susan Kaprov Digital Printmaker and Abstract Painter
Babette Katz Narrative Printmaker and Book Artist
Richard Mock Abstract Painter & Linocut Printmaker
Bill Murphy Contemporary Realist Painter
Jim Napierala Abstract Painter
Frances Pellegrini New York City &Fashion Photographer
Joseph Reeder Cross Media Artist Paintings & Ceramics
Laura Shechter Contemporary Realist Painter
Annemarie Slipper Figurative Ceramic Sculpture
Gary Slipper Fantasy Painter
Margaret Speer Landscape & Travel Paintings
Serena Tallarigo Marble Sculptor
Rein Triefeldt Kinetic Sculpture
Vivian Tsao Painter of Light
Nancy Van Deren Contemporary Painter
Joan Berg Victor Drawings from Nature
Edward Walsh Figurative Sculpture in Bronze, Marble & Steel
Kate Wattson Contemporary Colorist Painter
Betty Winkler Organic Minimalist Painter & Printmaker

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