Video

Video of Rodrigo Nava's "Column Form Expansion". 13 Seconds with explosive sound.

read 2018 press about rodrigo nava

artist statment & biography

  

  

VISIBLE FORCE SERIES


Seen every day in structural forms, steel hides its own materiality behind a symbol of strength. Nava’s VISIBLE FORCE, at one time constructed and visually solid objects, hold within them the moment of ignition – the very process that bloated and altered one of our most familiar materials. Nava’s work turns our common read of steel into one quite foreign – the marks and wrinkles of inflation convince us that this is a soft object, yet the common familiarity with this material tells us this shouldn’t be so.


This contradiction brings with it a unique breed of authenticity. While defying common perceptions of an everyday material, these expanded forms extract a true vulnerability of steel. These bloated forms, once drafted, formed and welded by hand – are in one moment altered integrally from a designed and crisp steel unit to a bloated, wrinkled and puckered plastic form, reminiscent of helium balloons or dirigibles. In this, truth is a felt contradiction. The visual weight of steel is confused with the buoyancy of something inflated, lighter than air.


From the explosive technique of his Split & Rebound series, where hand carved stone was destroyed then sutured back to its original form, to earlier hydro-formed expansions created by high pressure water – Rodrigo Nava’s work creates a narrative of conversation between artist and process. Each sculpture exists as a visual embodiment of the exact moment when the work left the artist’s hand and became altered by the artist’s process.


ARTIST STATEMENT

My work is rooted in a continual exploration of sculptural form as well as a commitment to process-oriented art. My most recent series consists of large closed steel forms that are expanded using a controlled explosion. This series is the result of a persistent need to continue the dialogue of contemporary sculpture. In order to do this, I have developed a unique and new process that allows me to create nonrepresentational sculptures that are the pure authentic result of the relationship between material, process, artists and viewer. These are not sculpture fabricated to look like they are "inflated". It is the process that gives volume to the object and creates the sculpture. When I expand my work, I am attempting to dismantle my tie to an object by allowing it to become its own object. These are the remnants of a real experience.


The newest forms in this series are reaching an architectural scale in their relationship to the landscape and viewer. Considerable research and development at each stage of this series has been required to perfect this expansion process. With the help engineer Robert Chave; formerly of NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab; I have been able to jump the logistical hurdles required to develop this unique sculptural work. The most recent development has been the ability to make the work in a flat state, allowing the final expansion process to transform the work from two dimensions into three. I have made and documented the process of well over fifty of these sculptures in varying sizes. I am currently developing controlled expansions using black Powder that will allow the creation of the work to be experienced safely by an audience. The two-dimension into three-dimension transformation has the added advantage for the work to be shipped flat; reducing the energy and cost of this stage of engaging in the creation of monumental work. These sculptures and their accompanying process videos have been shown and well received throughout the east coast.


ARTIST BIOGRAPHY

Rodrigo Nava (b. 1978, Mexico City) is a Mexican/American Artist whose sculpture explores the relationship between material and process. His most recent series consists of large closed steel forms that are expanded using a controlled explosion. This unique proprietary process allows him to create non-representational sculptures that are the pure authentic result of the relationship between material, process, artists and viewer.

Resume

Rodrigo Nava: b. 1978

  

EDUCATION

The American University of Paris, France


SOLO EXHIBITIONS

2016 FUERZAS VISIBLES, Peligro Amarillo Gallery/Santurce, San Juan, Puerto Rico

2015 COLLAGRAPHS FOR SCULPTURE, CX Silver Gallery, Brattleboro VT

2015 EXPANDED FORMS, Brattleboro Museum and Art Center, Brattleboro, VT

2013 VISIBLE FORCE, Yellow Peril Gallery, Providence, RI

2012 NEW PRINTS, Colo Colo Gallery, New Bedford, MA

EXPANDED FORMS Catherine Dianich Gallery, Brattleboro, Vt

2011 EXPANSIONS Partners & Spade, New York, NY


SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS

2017 Exposed, Helen Day Art Center, Stowe VT

2016 Michael S. Currier Gallery and Art Center, Putney, VT

2015 Vermont Arts Council, Montpelier, VT

2015 Exposed, Helen Day Art Center, Stowe VT

2015 Catherine Dianich Gallery, Brattleboro, VT

2014 Michael S. Currier Gallery and Art Center, Putney, VT.

2014 New Bedford Art Museum, New Bedford, MA

2013 LightSpace, Brooklyn, NY 2012 Yellow Peril Gallery, Providence, RI 2011

Catherine Dianich Gallery, Brattleboro, VT

2009 Sears Peyton Gallery, New York, NY

2008 Catherine Dianich Gallery, Brattleboro, VT

Michael S. Currier Gallery and Art Center, Putney, VT.

Catherine Dianich Gallery, Brattleboro, VT


ART FAIRS

2016 Satellite Art Show, Miami, FL (forthcoming)

Governors Island Art Fair, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, NY, NY Portal Art Fair, Federal Hall, NY, NY

2015 Governors Island Art Fair, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, New York, NY Art Hamptons, Long Island, NY

2014 Scope New York, NY

2013 Governors Island Art Fair, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, NY, NY Scope Miami, FL


PUBLIC PROJECTS

2019 Forthcoming, Montpelier Transit center, Montpelier, VT


RESIDENCIES

2009 The Putney School, Putney, VT

2006 The Carving Studio & Sculpture Center, Rutland, VT

2004 El Taller, Tepoztlán, Mexico


AWARDS

2014 Vermont Arts Council and National Endowment for the Arts

2013 Vermont Arts Council and National Endowment for the Arts


SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY/PRESS

B. Amore “Brattleboro Museum and Art Center” Sculpture Magazine May 2015

Jonathan Wolfe “Sprawling Art Show in Brooklyn Bridge Park and on Governors Island”, NY Times, September 2015

Mcvay, Marcel, “Marcel Mcvay Interviews Rodrigo Nava”, Collect Magazine, June 2012

Volmer, Suzanne, “Rodrigo Nava: Metal Mania at Yellow Peril” ArtScope Magazine, July 2012

Authentic New York – “Partners & Spade” Pen with Attitude Magazine, JAPAN October 2011


SELECTED COLLECTIONS

Berg Family Collection, Miami, FL

De Ponton D'Amecourt Family Collection, Paris, France

Krugar Family Collection, Greenwich, CT The Putney School, Putney, VT

I am interested in Rodrigo's Work

Email us at gallery@startspace.art with the name "Rodrigo Nava" in the SUBJECT LINE.