Regent’s Park, LondonStand H06

1317 October 2021

Text

Alison Jacques is pleased to announce a career-spanning presentation of work by Nicola L. (b. Mazagan, Morocco, 1932; d. Los Angeles, US, 2018), as part of Spotlight at Frieze Masters, curated by Laura Hoptman (Executive Director of The Drawing Center, New York).

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The child of French parents, Nicola L. relocated to France in her early teens; in 1954, she relocated to Paris to study painting at École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts. By the time she rose to prominence in the mid-1960s, Nicola L. had developed an energetic and ambitious interdisciplinary practice that bridged performance, film, collage and textile, as well as the anthropomorphic furniture and inhabitable sculptures, key examples of which will be displayed at Spotlight.

In spite of this material dexterity, Nicola L. maintained an unfaltering commitment to the global feminist movement and the socio-political potential of the collective. Speaking of her carnivalesque performance The Red Coat, Same Skin for Everybody, first activated in 1970 at the Isle of Wight Festival and restaged in 2015 as part of Tate Modern’s landmark exhibition‘The World Goes Pop’, Nicola L. observed: ‘Red Coat was an ephemeral monument to freedom.’

First termed ‘Pénétrables’ (Penetrables) by critic Pierre Restany, these wearable fabrics were activated by participation. As will be demonstrated at Spotlight through such inhabitable banners as Same Skin For Everybody (1974/78), the works visualised a desire for a shared society, one in which communities might unite beneath a single metaphorical skin. As Erica F. Battle wrote on the occasion of Nicola L.’s 2017 survey at SculptureCenter, New York: ‘Skin, as she conceived of it […] is a metaphorical site through which the actualization of the individual can meet the possibilities of collective action.’

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Works

Nicola L., Marijuana, 1970

Photographic print and oil on canvas
157.5 x 121.9 cm (62 x 48 in)
Courtesy: Alison Jacques, London and Nicola L. Collection and Archive © Nicola L. Collection and Archive

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Nicola L., Green Head Sofa, c. 1996

Upholstery, wool and cotton
102.9 x 203.2 x 101.6 cm (40 1/2 x 80 x 40 in)
Courtesy Alison Jacques, London and Nicola L. Collection and Archive © Nicola L. Collection and Archive

Nicola L., Eye (blue), 1969/1990

Plexiglass and steel
45.7 x 33 cm (18 x 13 in)
Courtesy: © Nicola L. Collection and Archive

Nicola L., Same Skin For Everybody, 1974/1978

Ink on cotton and wood
76.2 x 266.7 cm (30 x 105 in)
Courtesy Alison Jacques, London and Nicola L. Collection and Archive © Nicola L. Collection and Archive

Nicola L., Ciel, c.1968-70

Watercolour on paper
68 x 50 cm (26 3/4 x 19 3/4 in)
Courtesy: © Nicola L. Collection and Archive

Nicola L., #23, 1988-1990

Newspaper clippings and oil on paper on canvas
221 x 185.4 cm (87 x 73 in)
Courtesy Alison Jacques, London and Nicola L. Collection and Archive © Nicola L. Collection and Archive

Nicola L., White Femme Commode, 1964

Painted birch
171.4 x 63.5 x 31.8 cm (67 1/2 x 25 x 12 1/2 in)
Courtesy Alison Jacques, London and Nicola L. Collection and Archive © Nicola L. Collection and Archive

Nicola L., Planet Heads #1, 1990

Oil on canvas
121.9 x 91.4 cm (48 x 36 in)
Courtesy: © Nicola L. Collection and Archive

Nicola L., Snail (yellow), c. 1995

Plexiglass
63.5 x 40.6 x 10.2 cm (25 x 16 x 4 in)
Courtesy: © Nicola L. Collection and Archive

Nicola L., Snail (blue), c. 1995

Plexiglass
63.5 x 40.6 x 10.2 cm (25 x 16 x 4 in)
Courtesy: © Nicola L. Collection and Archive

Nicola L., Snail (green), c. 1995

Plexiglass
63.5 x 40.6 x 10.2 cm (25 x 16 x 4 in)
Courtesy: © Nicola L. Collection and Archive

Nicola L., Flower, c. 1974

Ink on cotton and wood
160 x 83.8 cm (63 x 33 in)
Courtesy Alison Jacques, London and Nicola L. Collection and Archive © Nicola L. Collection and Archive

  • Nicola L., Marijuana, 1970
  • Nicola L., Green Head Sofa, c. 1996
  • Nicola L., Eye (blue), 1969/1990
  • Nicola L., Same Skin For Everybody, 1974/1978
  • Nicola L., Ciel, c.1968-70
  • Nicola L., #23, 1988-1990
  • Nicola L., White Femme Commode, 1964
  • Nicola L., Planet Heads #1, 1990
  • Nicola L., Snail (yellow), c. 1995
  • Nicola L., Snail (blue), c. 1995
  • Nicola L., Snail (green), c. 1995
  • Nicola L., Flower, c. 1974

Installation

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