On one level, the work is a meditation on consciousness or an exhortation of mindfulness, a concept from Zen Buddhism. On another, it is a continuous prying at the intuitive underpinnings of rational systems. The everyday materials the artist turns into art amounts to personal stuff found in a jacket pocket, or alongside pennies in a small dish: ticket stubs, chewing gum, rubber bands, scraps of clothing, soap, zippers, candy wrappers, match books, balls of wax. Such ephemeral objects often appeal to a child whose flexible, imaginative mind is more situated in the present moment. But Ginzel shows us that these bits which we discard are talismans of memory, artifacts of culture, and remnants of language.
The artist says that after people see her work, they tell her they look at ordinary things differently. Perhaps because she has skillfully manipulated the small thing, altering the surface or melding it into another small object using materials like wax, paint, embroidery, gold leafing, plaster, wood, until the ordinary takes on new life. Her painterly touch, and her sense of color evoke the body and soul: pinks, browns, reds, gold, sunsets, snow, flowers, the gold of Christmas, an outline of Hebrew. Ginzel’s intimate works connect their own material history to our present time and space, collapsing the mundane and extraordinary with poetic precision.
Ginzel lives in Brooklyn and works at the Old American Can Factory in the Gowanus. She had her first ten–year retrospective and traveling museum exhibition at the Tennessee Valley Museum of Art in Tuscumbia, AL in 2013. She’s had solo shows at Cathouse FUNeral in Brooklyn, NY (2015); Heskin Contemporary in NYC (2011); Jenny Jaskey Gallery in Philadelphia, PA (2008) and Corridor Gallery in Reykjavik, Iceland (2006). Nicola has been the recipient of grants from the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, the Mayer Foundation, Artists’ Fellowship Inc., and Max’s Kansas City in 2016. Her work has been featured by New Art TV, Time Out New York, The New York Sun, Wall Street International, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Chicago Tribune, Art in America, and Artcritical.