Building upon The Situationists historical practice of the derive—the intentional act of ‘the drift,’ a wandering or going against the grid—painter Nicole Mauser plans to expand an ongoing series of collages by installing them onto the windows of key architectural sites in Chicago. Collage is a form of ‘trespassing visually;’ lashing architectural elements with floral, fauna, and abstract color fields serves to flatten and undermine hierarchies, physics, and logic rooted in the everyday.
Through site-specific research and carefully recorded empirical and visual data, the images of the series will function similarly to paintings, possessing illusionistic depth of space; yet the space is compressed to cause uncanny visual echoes to the nearby surroundings by drawing upon and enlarging existing architecture/landscape.
Influenced by Isa Genzken’s assemblage sculptures and Joseph Cornell’s films of found footage projected through color lenses, Mauser will similarly translate the visual field into a transparent ‘canvas’ that is visible on both sides. The viewer’s experience will emphasizes a direct physical confrontation with color, abstraction, and space—in both artistic and non-art contexts.
With the support of High Concept Labs, Mauser aims to achieve a body of work that is documented in an online website-as-archive, and submitted as exhibition proposals for local Chicago, national, or international venues.
Nicole Mauser is a Chicago-based painter from Indianapolis, Indiana. Mauser’s paintings investigate the tensions at play between the physicality of painting itself and the speed of the image within the language of abstraction. She explores knowledge as an empirical product inscribed both in and by the body. Works that trespass through visual modes of figuration and spatial illusion make the painting process an active search for form and meaning, both for the artist and for the viewer. This aesthetic isn’t transcendent, but intricate and corporeal. Her works do not beg the question why forms begin and exist, but how they will play out.
Mauser obtained a MFA from The University of Chicago in (2010) and BFA from Ringling College of Art and Design (2006). Her paintings have been featured at Carrie Secrist Gallery (Chicago); Reynolds Gallery (Richmond, VA), Missouri Western State University (St. Joseph); AR Gallery (Milan); and Centre pour l’Art et le Culture (Aix-en-Provence, France). Works of Mauser’s have been featured in New American Paintings, The New York Times, The Kansas City Star, The Benefactor Magazine and others. Her writings have been published in Newcity, Art Practical, 8 1⁄2 x 11, and Bad at Sports Blog.
Mauser was a recipient of The University of Chicago Student Arts Council Student Grant for painting research in Berlin, Germany (2010), and a Post-MFA Teaching Fellowship at The University of Chicago (2011). Mauser was co-founder of the artist-run gallery, PLUG Projects (2011-2012) as well as a co-founder of KCPAC (Kansas City Plein Air Coaterie). Collections include The Alexander (Indianapolis) and The Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art (Overland Park). She currently lives and works in Chicago, IL, and is a Lecturer at The University of Chicago.