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Nancy Baker Cahill

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20150816102833-decomposition_no
Decomposition No. 9, 2015 Graphite and Paper on Panel 57"x46"x9" © 2015
20140721011427-virgil_20
Virgil No. 20, 2014 Graphite on Paper 70" X 55" © 2014
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Decomposition No. 10, 2015 Graphite and Paper on Board 47" X 47" X9" © 2015
20150816102801-decompositionno7
Decomposition No. 7, 2015 Graphite and Paper 55" X 28" X 10" © 2015
20140813195932-virgil_21
Virgil No. 21, 2014 Graphite on Paper 172" X 172" © 2014
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Decomposition No. 8, 2015 Graphite and Paper 39" X 36" X 9" © 2015
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Virgil No. 40, 2015 Graphite on Paper 52" X 55" © 2015
20150816102731-virgil_36
Virgil No. 36, 2015 Graphite on Paper 55" X 55" © 2015
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Virgil No. 37, 2015 Graphite on Paper 51" X 32" © 2015
20150816102740-virgil_38
Virgil No. 38, 2015 Graphite on Paper 53" X 55" © 2015
20140226215658-virgil_01
Virgil No. 01, 2013 Graphite on Paper 51" X 56" © 2013
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Decomposition No. 12, 2015 Graphite and Paper on Board 57" X 44" X 11" © 2015
20150816102823-decomposition_no11
Decomposition No. 11, 2015 Graphite and Paper on Board 46" X 46" X 9" © 2015
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Decomposition No. 14, 2015 Graphite on Paper 36" X 26" X 11" © 2015
20140813200129-virgil22_redbirdcommission_
Virgil No. 22, 2014 Graphite on Paper 55" X 108" © 2014
20140721011835-virgil_18
Virgil No. 18, 2014 Graphite on Paper 55" X 55" © 2014
20140914175915-virgil_12
Virgil No. 12, 2014 Graphite on Paper 55" X 55" © 2014
20140403053630-virgil_14
Virgil No. 14 , 2014 Graphite on Paper 53" X 55" © 2014
20120207204725-img_2152
Installation View, Fascinomas , 2012 Projected Video on Scrim 5.5'x12' © Nancy Baker Cahill
20140312200337-fascinomainstallation_8
Installation View, Fascinomas, 2012 Projected Video Onto Scrim 5.5'x12' © 2012
20120207205222-5panelsforartslant
5 Panel Fascinoma, 2012 185 X96" © Nancy Baker Cahill
20140312200815-newwebf6
Installation View, Fascinomas, 2012 Projected Video Onto Scrim 5.5' X 12' © 2012
Quick Facts
Lives in
Los Angeles
Works in
Los Angeles
Tags
large-scale, painting, drawing, abstract, video-art
Statement

My work represents the human body as a complicated abstraction, corporeally real, yet forever unknowable. I make drawings, videos, airbrush paintings, installations and collaborative projects that treat the body as a site of spatial and temporal violence. My often large-scale images include sinewy folds of fabric-like flesh, explosions of hair, internal landscapes that are microcosmic and macrocosmically extraterrestrial. My intention is to evoke powerful empathic experiences in viewers as they consider their own bodies as transitory– filled with vulnerability, comfort, discomfort, and the realization that they, too, are made of meat.

Medical technology’s approach to “knowing” the body became important to me when my mother was diagnosed with cancer, my daughter with a heart (and later, brain) condition, and when doctors discovered a benign, football-sized tumor in my abdomen. These experiences shape my understanding of the body as an unpredictable and unrepresentable place. For my “Fascinomas” series, I employed the visual language of ultrasounds to produce a disruptive moment in our expectations of “truths.” I created images by “scanning” sculptural objects with spray paint, capturing their absence on paper. I further developed this idea in “Virgil,” my drawings of disembodied viscera. The imagery is both abstract and anatomically specific, beautiful and abject, erotic and a-sexual. Each drawing explores the dynamic tension between extremes, flipping from stasis to motion, decay to regeneration, void to form. I want to dissect the meanings we bring to our own bodies, while suturing a formally generative wound that never heals.