Exhibition Description


Nancy Pletos
Besides, I did not want to do anything but be here
April 12 – May 25, 2019

View Exhibition Photos

Simone DeSousa Gallery is pleased to present “Besides, I did not want to do anything but be here,” a solo exhibition of works by Nancy Pletos (b. Detroit, 1950, d. Royal Oak, 2016), one of the most significant artists emerging out of Detroit Cass Corridor in the early 70’s.

In 1979, at age 29, Pletos had her work featured in a solo exhibition at the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA). She moved to New York in 1976, and Chicago in 1979. After returning to Michigan in 2004, she opted for a fully reclusive life. Her work has not been seen in a solo exhibition in more than thirteen years.

Besides, I did not want to do anything but be here” includes different bodies of works by Pletos dating from 1974 through 2001, and is on view from April 13 through May 25. A special publication will accompany the exhibition.

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Excerpts from a Statement
By Nancy Pletos, Chicago, August, 1979

(First published in the catalogue that accompanied Nancy Pletos’ solo exhibition at the Detroit Institute of Arts, “Works in Progress VI, 1979)

“It is hard to know sometimes how to put things together—sequence of steps for fastening and development, allowing for margin of inevitable inaccuracy, allowing for growth of inevitable inaccuracy, allowing for growth of logical order, following sensibilities dictated by what is happening, listening to what the piece…is telling me it needs, listening to what it wants to do and figuring out how I, the maker, can enable this to happen, seeing into the future, figuring it all out and doing it, then later maybe puzzling over the puzzle: how was it done? Hopefully naturally.

The hot-melt glue I use is not what one would necessarily call natural, but it has its own natural properties. It allows for gravity to settle pieces where they feel most comfortable…

Where they are made and when (not necessarily by date but by what is when for me and where and under what condition I am in and what conditions are) seem to matter. Place is important to me in a great sense as far as comfort to some extent, but mostly for availability of materials: materials I know I need and use with frequency; materials of source and reference…a place that oozes aliveness, that awakens (or re-awakens, depending) every sense by its nature…the Space, the Light, the Depth, the Color and Texture and the Sounds and Movements… all the Ongoing and Everchanging events!..;. and materials of matter I happen upon and may collect because it seems they are there for me and to use and somehow it seems I do. I gather things wherever I am and they become a part of an entity that is a finished work. The work is very biographical in that sense…

…It seems important to come to a logical conclusion, a finish, a termination…time of ripeness doneness…I have strived for that…to get my art to give me everything that does not, or cannot because of circumstances, come about in other ways from other aspects…cultivated culmination of my divergent interests…whole and self sufficient…”