11.09.2014 – 18.10.2014

Nadia Naveau makes a spatial collage of recent sculptures in the exhibition “Deaf Ted, Danoota, (and me)”.

Naveau mixes clay, ceramics, wood, plaster, plasticine and found objects into shapes that hang between tradition and contemporary stubbornness. This combination is reflected both in the way in which she kneads her materials and in her collage-like collection of art-historical references and popular media. Often starting from figuration, the forms abstract and space is created between Naveau's hand and her eye for humor and absurdity. It results in overgrowing languages, textures and contexts.

For those who have a dash of knowledge of art history, winking at this reservoir of images is never far away. From Claudel to Guston, from Bernini to De Chirico. Just as easily, someone else recognizes Mickey Mouse's ears, or comedian Marty Feldman's eyes. Her intuitively brought together worlds provide fodder for understanding and at the same time provide a kind of “bewilderment” in the spotlight. The glue between all the fragments is her pronounced formal language, her hand in the well-sculpted material. As she herself says: “it happens in the clay”.

Nadia Naveau models like a painter. She brings color to sculpture as seemingly impulsive strokes of paint; she paints on and with sculptural material, she molds color and composition. The plinth, a problematic given since the rise of the historical avant-garde, is given an independent status here, literally and figuratively highlighting it. The plinth itself becomes a sculpture, autonomous, and again part of the installation. Self-reflection of the medium, in the medium, through the medium.

We see the play of fragmentation, communication, melting and pulling apart in the same way in the exhibition space. The reading of the works is inevitably influenced by surrounding images. Her installations are carefully organized clusters of independent sculptures. Nadia Naveau makes a visual thinking game, a pictorial puzzle full of references to the past and the present.

Text by Céline Mathieu