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November 4 - December 9, 2017

For Nora



Prolonged compression of days, weeks, months, years--thirty years?


Infinite reserves of things to record about her earlier life or succession of lives.


How does she choose and arrange them? She brings funny and familiar objects into contact with one another, forging new combinations, figuring out what she considers of worth. She does not force her way into the facts (intellectual/emotional cost ↑, info/data↓). Focus is on the agent responsible for the persistent and consistent distortion. Revisit objects you love and raise attention to them.


Organizing devices hover between description and narrative. She creates a graspable unity out of an overwhelming variety of materials. Covering more than forty years. The image of the past held in place for later inspection. Remarkable job of taking the “me” out of the equation. A cocoon of bodies, sensations in vividly physical terms. Dancers. Hats. Mothers. Create a livable space.


These marvelous interiors, a thought inside out, open up the household for inspection. Reflections which inform her view as an artist and which in turn return as her comments about making paintings. Seeing is a reaction to stimuli. Unexpected messages, unsolicited signs and clues, the significance and flatness of which is obscure and of no interest to anyone but herself?


What are people really like? Mental activity leaves little trace on the physical events, people. Inner tensions, doubts about the value of impressions and sensations shared. Experiences she wrests from herself, from memory, from flying dreams, from waking from sleep--embrace and transmit.


Hovering eye groping, making its way. Accumulation of conflicting, superimposed images elude reproduction.

Bodies weigh something in your memories. Distortions. How does the present appear when it becomes the past of an imagined future? Does proximity replace isolation?


Geometries of the fictive, patterns almost botanical


spatial tensions in the multiplication of represented moments. She gives us something to see for as long as we want.


You’re never shown the whole image at once or all the consequences at the moment. Things

and people take on identities by a conviction that they are themselves and nothing else; their immobility slips from confirmation to denial in the time it took me to say that.


She raids her memories for what’s left. Her eye has no name, no identity. Combinations, rearrangements, consignments, contractions. One single event might just be a description of repetitions.


-Itza Vilaboy, 2017



Nora Riggs received her BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design, and her MFA from Indiana University in 1996.  She lives and works in Northampton, Massachusetts.

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