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Nancy Simonds, a graduate of the school of the Museum of Fine Arts and Smith College, summers in Sconset and maintains a studio in the South End of Boston where she is a regular participant in the well known South End Open Studios events. But, it is Nantucket and its tranquil environs that imbue the intimate serenity so characteristic of Simond's work.
In her BLOCK STACK series, Simonds stacks and piles simple shapes, ultimately creating visual relationships which build the larger rhythms. Each work is paired down to its essentials and each becomes a complete world of its own. The artist's aim is to "generate visual places; points of departure for states of serenity and contemplation". These stack paintings spring from Simonds' long interest in building materials and architectural elements that include bricks, concrete blocks, window openings, and doorways. Building by increments to larger, dynamic wholes, is at the heart of Simonds' work.
Simonds takes a different path with her OVOID series, enjoying a play of organic shapes against the white of the background that create tension as the ovals touch or separate in varying degrees. These images reflect velvety textures reminding the viewer of moss covered earth, matched with disparate shapes, sizes and textures all coexisting in nature.
Working in gouache paint on Reeves printmaking paper, Simonds achieves a translucency and depth of color as she blots and dabs myriads of hues to create her complex and delicate surfaces. It is the thrill of discovery in each new piece that keeps her exploring in the studio.
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