A Flower By Another Name
THAT THAT and WNDO Present: “A FLOWER BY ANOTHER NAME”
A Solo Exhibition by NICOLE NADEAU
Curated by Kyle DeWoody
A sculptural interpretation of a drawing Nicole Nadeau made as a child, "Flower By Another Name" is a conversation between present and past. Curated by Kyle DeWoody, the ceramic sculptures are the artist’s 3D interpretations of the drawing. Nadeau became interested in the flowers and how they rendered as iconographic symbols in their anthropomorphic form; their gestural postures conveying different personalities. In order to better understand the subconscious messages embedded in the flowers, Nadeau had her twin sister, Coryn Nadeau, a clinical art therapist, psychoanalyze the original drawing using Lowenfeld theory, The Silver Drawing Test of Cognition & Emotion, Kellogg & assessment symbology. Her findings help to inform the dimensional translation.
She suggested that the four flowers were an abstract representation of the four members of Nadeau’s family. Noting we have a capacity for symbolization in art, whereby we unconsciously project transitional objects or the family dyad onto the work. When objects are repeated in the same number sequence as the artist’s family dyad, it is said to reflect that individual’s family. This may be why the flowers are disproportionately large to their surroundings, given the strong feeling attached to them. The flowers are also the only objects in the drawing that exhibit variation, most noticeably in color – even the rainbow is monochromatic. Often the artist, will make the object that represents the “self” bigger and more centrally located than the rest of the figures, which would make the red flower Nadeau. The parental flowers stand on either side – they are the same design, rendered in different colors. The relationship of placement of figures is also symbolic – physical-oriented closeness represents emotional closeness. The smaller pink flower, located farthest from Nadeau, represents Coryn. Although twins, the smaller size could represent feelings of competition, need for distinction, and the struggle for attention and personal identity as children.
Through a range of mediums, artist Nadeau explores the notions of ritual and identity, even going so far as to ritualize many elements of her practice. This allows her to further study the notion of individuality, as rituals are repeated and variations inevitably emerge. Her perspective is deeply influenced by her role as a fraternal twin. Being a “double” granted Nadeau a heightened awareness of similarity and distinction. Unearthing the subtle differences between the products of a ritualistic practice offers her a subconscious validation, given that she spent most of her life searching for the sometimes subtle variations between herself and her sister.
Trained in industrial design, her work blends manufactured and natural materials to create uncanny installations &
sculptures, informing Nadeau’s study of materials and objects. She implements design language in her art like a
tool or material, through various media, she melds the industrial with art materials and techniques. This implicit
tension is indicative of her ongoing work.
Nicole Nadeau (b. 1984, Cromwell, CT) currently lives between New York and Los Angeles. She received her BFA from Parsons School of Design in 2007, and has studied at Rochester Institute of Technology (2002-2005). Nadeau’s work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at Portraits of Origin, Y Gallery (2012). Her work was included in Tool, at Cooper-Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum (2014); Design Autopsy, Rochester Institute of
Technology (2014); Littlest Sister, Spinello Projects (2015); Cannibals, Copy & Paste, Spring Break Art Fair (2016); site specific installation Everyone Thought I Was You, Collective Design fair (2016); Velvet Elvis, Christy’s Art Center (2017); and most recently Meet us at the Dumpster Fire, That That Gallery (2018). Her art objects can be found at The Whitney Museum shop and 56 Henry Gallery.