Trained as a printmaker and painter, Nancy Lorenz mixes craft materials and techniques with aesthetic categories derived from the customarily separate realm of fine art. Her decorative, richly ornamental works are inspired, in part, by five years that the artist spent in Tokyo. Lorenz was intrigued by traditional Asian crafts, which, in Japanese culture, are treated with the same reverence as fine art objects. Seeing an opportunity to expand the use of such materials in her own work, Lorenz began experimenting with inlaid mother-of-pearl, metallic leaf, lacquering, and water gilding techniques—all materials frequently used in Japanese crafts, but seldom seen in Western sculpture. At the same time, Lorenz’s works remain firmly rooted in abstract expressionist forms, borrowed elements of landscape painting, and a modernist focus on materiality. By superimposing Western and Asian traditions then, Lorenz creates an enriched hybrid of lustrous and delicate personal artifacts.
Lorenz received her MFA from the Tyler School of Art at Temple University in Philadelphia. She was the recipient of a John Simon Guggenheim Award in 1998, and she participated in the Cill Rialaig artist-in-residence program in Ireland in 2008, 2010, and 2012. Lorenz lives and works in New York City.