About the Running Stitch Series
I think of the works in the Running Stitch Series as metaphorically representing accumulations of memories—memories laid out in an orderly geometric form that brings together a collection of sometimes disparate elements. The grid, predominantly horizontal, perhaps a landscape of the mind, subdues the gestural and textual content into an understandable form. Perhaps actual memories would be organized this way into an autobiographical narrative.
But my intention is not to narrate a story or to represent one biographical point of view; I am thinking more about constructing a painting using prepared elements in place of brushstrokes.
Color influences my decisions of what to include. I make the elements by cutting up gestural paintings I have prepared or found objects I have collected such as old books, record albums and metal. I sort these things by color, not content, and bring them together intuitively within the geometric format, aiming for a balanced composition, rich content, amusing juxtapositions and surprise.
Tacks, so many of them, hold the elements in place on wood panels and superimpose a flexible and slightly reflective grid that adds a polyrhythmic overlay to the geometric structure. Encaustic pumps up the muscularity of the composition and highlights the organizing grid.
From the Joanne Mattera art blog, July 21, 2011:
If Nancy Natale is not known to the New York art world she should be. Her small solo show at Arden Gallery on Newbury Street is from a series of recent works called Running Stitch. There’s no thread in these constructed paintings, however.
Composed of castoff book parts, rubber strips, metal and other materials, they have been laid out and tacked into assemblages that are equal parts formal beauty and polyrhythmic muscle. If I wanted to be flip I would say that Natale’s work is the love child of Lee Bontecou and El Anatsui. But that would be unfair to an artist who has forged a vision that is quite her own