Nancy Graves (American 1939-1995)
Nancy Graves was a prolific cross-disciplinary artist of international renown who developed a sustained body of sculptures, paintings, drawings, watercolors, and prints. She also produced five avant-garde films and innovative set designs. Graves graduated from Vassar College in 1961, then earned an MFA in painting at Yale University where classmates included Robert Mangold, Rackstraw Downes, Brice Marden, and Chuck Close, as well as Richard Serra to whom she was married from 1964 to 1970.
For this series she made an extensive study of NASA’s Apollo mission lunar maps beginning in 1968. She drew stippled images directly on sheets of Mylar transferred to light-sensitive aluminum plates. To achieve a variety of spatial effects, Graves experimented with laminating these Mylar sheets to Arches Cover stock (chine collée technique). The resulting layered surfaces subtly suggest the moon’s lower gravity!
Her career was launched in 1969 when she was the youngest artist (only the fifth woman) to be selected for a solo show at the Whitney Museum. Graves’ work has been featured in hundreds of museum and gallery exhibitions, including several solo museum exhibitions. Her work is in the permanent collections of many major art museums.