HackelBury Fine Art, London is pleased to present: Elemental Forms, Landscape, a solo exhibition of new work by Nadezda Nikolova-Kratzer in which her love of nature and concern for the environment is reflected in her abstract landscapes which capture “the still point of the turning world”. (T.S. Eliot ‘Four Quartets’).
Nikolova-Kratzer chooses a balancing act in her work between control and surrender, simplicity and intricacy, light and darkness. She uses simple shapes to create her photogram silhouettes, yet she works with a complex set of variables including temperature, humidity and the timing of the exposure – factors that fundamentally affect the outcome. Nikolova-Kratzer embraces this as she feels strongly that “it is this artifact of chance that brings meaning and excitement to life”. Her work becomes a metaphor for having the fearlessness to embrace the unknown.
Drawing on poetry, literature and a myriad of artistic influences including Japanese Notan design, Matisse paper-cuts and the organic landscapes of Georgia O’Keefe, Nikolova-Kratzer creates photographic compositions which become sculptural in their focus on the object yet have the depth and thought of a painting. Using geometrical shapes and floating planes, these works build on her preceding series of landscapes taking them to a higher level of abstraction. With the materiality of the photographic medium, she seeks to record intangible aspects of the landscape, as she experiences them, through immersion and observation, without the camera’s capacity for
Her practice is inextricably linked to her way of life. The physical process of creating work uses her daily ritual of walking in the redwood forests near her home in Oakland, California to connect with nature and respond intuitively whilst reflecting her belief in the concept of immanence.
Nadezda Nikolova-Kratzer (b. 1978, former Yugoslavia) is an artist working with wet plate collodion photograms – a historical technique dating back to the 1850s which uses light-sensitive salts to cover a glass plate before exposing it to the light in a portable darkroom. Her practice is informed by an experimental approach to early photographic processes and her interest in the image as an object.
Captivated by the fluidity of wet plate collodion, she manipulates the medium while simultaneously courting chance intrinsic to handmade photography: “I spray, dab and brush on the chemistry in a performative enactment rather than an image capture. (Sometimes, the brush strokes leave physical marks on the emulsion.) In essence, I am negotiating with the chemistry, guiding it. But only to a point. The chemistry has a say in the final image.” Nadezda Nikolova-Kratzer
The abstract landscape series, Elemental Forms, Landscapes and Elemental Forms, Landscape Rearticulated, emerged as the artist’s direct response to her surroundings and to feeling a sense of well- being and security within the landscape. She believes that each locale has its specific identity, history, and emotional imprint.
Nadezda Nikolova-Kratzer has a degree in conservation and environmental sciences and a Master’s in Public Policy. She went on to study photography and historic processes at George Eastman Museum with Mark Osterman and at the University of Kentucky. She was a finalist for the 2018 LensCulture Exposure Awards. She lives and works in Oakland, California.
Nadezda Nikolova Kratzer
Elemental Forms, Landscape
9th September – 30th October 2021
HackelBury Fine Art
4 Launceston Place
London W8 5RL