window where we: Nancy Lupo at Dawid Radziszewski Gallery
Lupo’s installation, window where we, began in mid-September 2020 on a wall of windows in the artist’s Tbilisi studio. Lupo was drawn to work directly on the windows, finding their beauty too radiant to to be fully present with anything else in the space. After all, the plan she had for her time in residence was to make a film. The work represents latest progression of the Teller form where it assumes a quasi architectural role, a carapace where there might be a curtain, a transmission of time where there might have been a duration. The artist layered glue, toilet paper, napkins, fiberglass mesh and bamboo barbecue skewers directly onto the windows in her studio. The resulting skins were removed right before the end of Orthodox New Year and hang now on a structure that is a 1:1 recreation of the original steel windows frames.
“The Teller” is a form that originated in 2019 as a small model of a farmer’s market tent; the simple pop-up structures that provide shade and shelter for market vendors and has been transformed and extrapolated many times and become a motif the artist continues to rework almost obsessively. The Tellers are composed of different kinds of accumulated paper, such as receipts, candy wrappers, napkins, bank statements, letter envelopes, and toilet paper. Beginning with a wooden structure, the paper is adhered in many layers with glue and fiberglass mesh. They are then painted with striking and seductive interference and mica pigments, possessing both transparency and radiance.
The Tellers first took the form of large leaning or laying sculptures that recalled ocean waves, or flags, or magical cloaks. They also resembled giant versions of the paper fortune tellers children make and use in a fortune telling game (“pieklo-niebo” in Polish). Linguistically the word recalls both the person (or machine) at a bank that dispenses money as well as a storyteller or speaker.
In Spring 2020, Lupo began working on a series of “collapsed” Tellers, which possessed the same structure and materials, but which were flattened like delicately unfolded foil candy wrappers. They began to evoke calendars, grids or counting systems.