The Dada and Fluxus art movements have influenced my artist books, especially with the use of found objects and collaged images. I am interested in pairing different elements and images in a way that can alter their original meaning to create something unexpected. I am currently exploring the relationship between science and art, especially with geometric forms and patterns. The page formats are often round which is intended to mimic viewing images with a microscope or telescope.
Generally, the one-of-a-kind books I create are purely visual without text. Often they are not bound but instead a collection of pages that could be read in any sequence. The books are contained in boxes that function to enclose the materials and reinforce the theme of the book.
The new series of drawings are inspired by natural history museum collections during visits in Italy to Florence and Venice. The works also relate to my childhood experiences on class trips to the museums in NYC and seeing taxidermy displays of birds and animals. In addition, my parents were avid bird watchers and collected Audubon bird prints and displayed them on the walls of our house. My interest in scientific collections continued when I later worked for a science museum in Richmond, Virginia.
Visiting the museums in Italy, I was fascinated by the presentation of the birds in antique wooden cases. The taxidermy birds are posed in life-like settings giving them a simultaneous artificiality and realness. I am enlarging the scale and using a large amount of the negative space to give them a feeling of openness. I am using graphite pencil wash in order to combine drawing and painting together and to reference scientific illustrations from the past.
Nancy Hart is a tenured Associate Professor of Art at the University of Texas of the Permian Basin. She earned a BFA in painting from Virginia Commonwealth University, in Richmond, Virginia and a MFA in painting from Cranbrook Academy of Art, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.
In 2004, Nancy Hart was the recipient of a Fulbright-Hays Fellowship to Bulgaria. She has had grants to study printmaking in Prague, to travel and study in Italy, and others to attend artist residency programs at the Scuola Internazionale di Grafica in Venice, Italy and La Macina di San Cresci in Greve in Chianti, Italy. In 2015, she also participated in an Art and Poetry program at Arna in Holstrom, Sweden.
Current research projects include a series of drawings and collages based on the Museum of Natural History in Venice, Italy.
Her artist books, collages, and drawings have been shown in exhibitions in Cuba, Denmark, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, South Korea, Switzerland, UK and the US.