a charlotte street 15 year anniversary project considering the history and future of artist-driven pioneering in Kansas City and the changing nature of the city's "frontiers"
Interview with Nicole Mauser
Jonah Criswell: When was your UCP Residency?
Nicole Mauser: Dec 2007 – Sep 2008 thereabouts I believe
JC: How do you feel that the UCP Residency helped you further your work?
NM: It gave me the space to take my practice seriously during a crucial time after undergraduate and prior to graduate school. The notoriety of the UCP studio program funneled local curators and artists through my studio which resulted in subsequent studio visits and opportunities to exhibit in group shows. I participated in UCP about one year after I moved to Kansas City, so It was the first time I had the opportunity to interact and develop relationships with artists in Kansas City. Actually, I would like to participate in an extended program for former-UCPs!
JC: In your work you address concepts of beauty and abjection as well as other binaries, I am curious, what do you think about contemporary abstraction’s penchant for addressing the conceptual over something more emotive?
NM: Most contemporary artists posses an awareness for history. In my case, that history is the well-trodden territory of Abstract-Expressionism where emotive quality was examined and taken to its height. Awareness and questioning for remaining potential continues to inform my material-driven painting process.
Through a process of research (which could be simple as watching films or as intense as multiple library trips or travel) I set up conceptual parameters which are loose but nonetheless present something to push against in order to improvise and respond to pressure, mark, and composition through color. It is towards achieving space and compressions of time. My paintings hinge on the mark or the expressive gesture. This has its underpinning in drawing, specifically the moment when the contour and the form become unyoked and function independently. So to go back to your question of “addressing something conceptual over something more emotive”- I aim for a co-mingling of those two tenants. It gets messy and interesting, so I try to dwell there as long as I can in the painting-thought process. If I was after precision or answers, I would be using different materials.