Nancy Graves
American, 1940-1995

Five Fans, Lampshades and Lotus, 1982
Bronze with polychrome patina
Bequest of Nancy Graves
Period: 20th c
Classification: Sculpture
Dimensions: Sight: 81 x 34 x 35 in. (205.74 x 86.36 x 88.9 cm)
Published References v
The Sculpture of Nancy Graves 98
Exhibition History v
"Nancy Graves: A Sculpture Retrospect," Fort Worth Art Museum, May 17-July 12, 1987. See file for additional venues.
Description v
Nancy Graves, a member of the class of 1961, is Vassar’s most well-known artist alumna. She pursued graduate study at Yale University and became an accomplished sculptor, painter, printmaker, and video artist. Her sculpture stems primarily from nature and her own interest in the natural sciences, and frequently bear exotic titles such as Catepelouse, Fayum, or Archaeoloci. Often the sculptures from the 1980s are assemblages of various cast objects includ- ing seed pods, palm fronds, and other vegetal forms. The Vassar work carries a more prosaic and descriptive title, isolating the primary elements— the lampshade base, the large lotus leaf from which emerges the crown of five Japanese fans, connected by slices of what appears to be a gourd or root. The manner in which the elements are connected suggests a slow torsion that encourages the viewer to address it from multiple points of view. This work is quite typical of the delicately balanced layers of unrelated objects that, together, appear to have metamorphosed into a new and bizarre species of plant.
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