Nina Lola Bachhuber

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Greater New York 2005 Catalog
P.S.1/MoMA Queens 2005
By Sarah Lewis
Curator at the Museum of Modern Art, New York

Nina Lola Bachhuber’s figurative and abstract drawings convey narratives of an unbridled psyche in a nocturnal state. Bachhuber frequently draws monochromatic images in red or blue ink or pencil, each with a loose quality lacking in self-consciousness, as if done in a reverie. Her work often consists of unsettling biomorphic images-overdeveloped “lodgings” and “receptacles”-as she calls them, giving the work a surrealist feel.

The understated and modest quality of ink on small sheets of rectangular paper is particularly suited for Bachhuber’s intimate images. In one series, the artist rearranges and slightly alters rows of ambiguous shapes on separate sheets of paper so that the drawings, taken together, compose a unique stacked motif. This repetition and alteration creates relationships between each symbol that suggests a hidden language, the artist’s invented hieroglyphics. In a manner similar to that proposed by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s The Little Prince – in which the main character invites us to see what looks like a hat as “a boa constrictor digesting an elephant”- Bachhuber’s drawn symbol suggest that an altered perspective is required to access their meaning.

Each drawing is thoughtful and deliberate, investigating the artist’s surroundings while being attentive to the works’ formal arrangement. Formally, Bachhuber’s work seems related to that of Rosemarie Trockel and Louise Bourgois, even if they are motivated by different aims. Bachhuber’s work is focused meditation on line that, through innovation, creates new forms. She belongs to a group of artists who has never abandoned drawing: she continues to give it primacy, creating works that are distinctly her own.