“The brass and burnt siennas and goldish, rusty objects reminded me of the Arizona desert and the clear, dry air of those days in the ’60s.”
Nancy Grossman named this sculptural wall assemblage Yuma as an homage to the Arizona town and the Native American group living in what is now western Arizona and southern California.
In the mid- to late 1960s, Grossman experimented with non-conventional materials and, in particular, the possibilities of leather—a literal skin. References to gender and protection are present, but for Grossman, the formal qualities of the materials are paramount. The deconstructed and reconstructed elements twist, turn, compress, contort, constrict, and expand, their original uses unrecognizable, creating emotion through the exertion of the process. When read as a figure, the work hints at the body not only in its materials but also in its forms—phalluses and voids extending and retracting, innards exposed, bursting out beyond its seams.
From the exhibition: Beauty and Bite (July 20, 2019 – January 19, 2020)