Erin Jane Nelson
DOCUMENT, Chicago, IL
Hester, New York, NY
Erin Jane Nelson’s prints, quilts, and sculptures suggest an interest in testing the boundaries of image legibility, and an ethic of observation that is both reportorial and poetic without fussing over their own worth. A mess of signs for messy times: Nelson embeds her photographs in heaps of vernacular, pulling in bawdy iron-on patches, rock tumblers, bird cages, wine stains, cigarette burns, and the Dead Kennedys logo, to start. Signs get torn from their contexts and images often get channeled into dense compounds that delight in their materiality (though not ceremoniously–the artist insistently staves off preciousness with stains, burns, holes, puns, frays). In some cases, they’ve culminated in quilts. Nelson is interested in quilting’s direct correlation of effort and value. It’s with that correlation in mind that she goes maximal, with elaborate stitching, siding, flocking, flourish, probing value through flurries of laborious gesture, her extensive representation of underclass stuff suggesting a cautious compassion for the dissensus of populism.
She has had solo exhibitions at Hester in New York, DOCUMENT in Chicago, and Important Projects in Oakland. Her work has been included in group exhibitions at Ellis King in Dublin, Favorite Goods in Los Angeles, Interstate Gallery in Brooklyn, and Peregrine Program in Chicago.
Courtesy of DOCUMENT