New Exhibition Series Diptych Launched to Showcase Connections Between Two Up-and-Coming Artists

Thu, Mar 16, 2006

Jockum Nordström and Mindy Shapero Paired Up First

Diptych: Jockum Nordström and Mindy Shapero is the first in a compelling new series of two-person exhibitions focusing on up-and-coming and mid-career artists. Each Diptych exhibition will feature a pair of artists whose works relate to one another in ways that also shed light on larger issues and developments incontemporary art. The Wexner Center launches this series April 7–August 13, 2006 with its presentation of Swedish artist Jockum Nordström and Los Angeles-based artist Mindy Shapero. Both artists use materials such as paper, pencil, and glue—the stuff of children’s arts and crafts—to create imagined fantasy worlds.

This exhibition of 22 drawings and collages by Collection of Diane Wallace, New York Photo courtesy David Zwirner Gallery, New York Nordstrom and seven sculptures by Shapero will include new work produced by both artists. The idea of the diptych, a two-part painting executed on separate panels, provides the series with its guiding curatorial conceit. Each part of the diptych is complete unto itself, but when presented side-by-side they form a larger picture. Notes Claudine Isé, curator of Diptych, “Unlike most two-person shows, the artists in this series have no prior relationship to one another, nor is there a preexisting context for viewing their works in tandem. We hope to cast new light on current artistic practices by bringing together artists whose work may at first seem dissimilar, but on further reflection share much in common.”

A full-color, illustrated brochure, featuring an essay written by Isé about the work of Nordström and Shapero, will accompany the exhibition. both artists will attend the public opening party April 6. The next Diptych presentation is scheduled for the spring of 2007.


JOCKUM NORDSTRÖM (b. 1963, Stockholm; lives & works in Stockholm)

Influenced by Surrealism, folk art, jazz music and children’s stories, Jockum Nordström makes graphite drawings and paper collages featuring characters, settings, and visual motifs that spring entirely from his own imagination. Themes of art, music, sex, and nature are a constant in Nordström’s works, which often show men in top hats and business suits and women in full-length gowns and feathered hats frolicking or fondling each other, often in groups. The loose placement of figures and objects within Nordström’s colorful compositions gives them a sense of buoyancy, as if we are witnessing the momentary triumph of leisure, play and carnality over the dull rigidity of the workaday world. The artist’s use of flattened compositional spaces and impossible shifts of scale tweaks the viewer’s sense of what is real and what isn’t: a fish may appear to be as large as a boat, an apartment building as small and portable as a child’s toy. A lifelong resident of Stockholm, Sweden, Nordström was recently the subject of a major solo exhibition organized by the Moderna Museet in Stockholm. His drawings have also been shown in major group exhibitions at The Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Tate Modern in London. 

MINDY SHAPERO (b. 1974 Louisville, Kentucky; lives & works in Los Angeles)

Mindy Shapero, like Jockum Nordström, insists on the importance of giving fantasy free reign over logic and rationality. Using simple materials such as paper, wood, and acrylic paint, Shapero creates drawings and three-dimensional objects that give physical form to things that tend to elude description, such as the visions one sees in dreams, psychedelic experiences, and other in and out of the altered states of consciousness. Shapero's diptych presentation will focus exclusively on her sculptures. Sometimes crude and wonky, other times delicate and airy, these works defy categorization. Many appear painfully fragile—perched wobbily on stilts, as in the 2003 sculpture Fog, or tilting vertiginously to one side, as in thepiece titled Smoke bomb (exists behind your eyes and you only see it when you die and then it releases all phylogenetic memories), also from 2003. A key aspect of Shapero’s work is her use of lengthy titles that read like poetic vignettes or stream-of-consciousness musings. To a greater extent than is usual for most artists, Shapero’s titles are extensions of her sculptures: both attempt to describe phenomena or experiences that are largely ineffable in nature. Shapero received her MFA from the University of Southern California in 2003. Her work has been shown as part of numerous national and international group exhibitions, including at the Orange County Museum of Art, where she was featured in the museum’s 2004 California Biennial exhibition. 


Since joining the Wexner Center as associate curator of exhibitions in February 2004, Claudine Isé has curated the noted group show Vanishing Point as well as Particle Theory, a three-person exhibition of contemporary sculpture. Prior to joining the Wexner Center, Isé was assistant curator of the UCLA Hammer Museum, where she organized a number of solo exhibitions for the Museum’s celebrated Hammer Projects series, including presentations by Tomoko Takahashi, Amy Adler, and Frances Stark, among others, and co-organized the group exhibitions International Paper: Drawings by Emerging Artists and Snapshot: New Art from Los Angeles. Isé has also worked as an arts writer for the Los Angeles Times and holds a Ph.D. in Film, Literature and Culture from the University of Southern California.


Diptych is organized by the Wexner Center for the Arts.

It is presented with support from the Elizabeth Firestone Graham Foundation and Corporate Annual Fund of the Wexner Center Foundation and Wexner Center members.

Preferred accommodations are provided by The Blackwell Inn.

The preferred travel provider for this exhibition is American Airlines/American Eagle.


THE EXHIBITION: Diptych features fantastical works by Swedish artist Jockum Nordström and L.A.-based artist Mindy Shapero.

DATES: April 7–August 13, 2006 (opening party April 6, 5–8 pm). Also on view: Extreme Textiles: Designing for High Performance and William Kentridge: 7 Fragments for Georges Méliès.

LOCATION: Wexner Center for the Arts (Gallery A), 1871 North High Street at 15th Avenue at The Ohio State University. Parking in Ohio Union Garage just south.

GALLERY HOURS: Tuesday–Wednesday and Sunday 11 am–6 pm; Thursday– Saturday 11 am–8 pm. The galleries are closed on Monday.


PUBLIC INFORMATION: or 614 292-3535 


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