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I Wish I Was a Telephone: Nora Jane Slade / Marisa Takal

July 15 – August 19, 2017

I Wish I Was a Telephone: Nora Jane Slade / Marisa Takal

The motivation to make is rooted in an impulse to communicate and connect – whether with a part of yourself, a friend, a stranger, or a foreign space. The objects, images, and words we compose go into the world, landing at points for others to pick up and take. In the work of Nora Jane Slade and Marisa Takal, intricate moments are made for the taking, building on one another to form loose, poetic narratives that require our interpretation. A figure or expression might emerge in one work and reappear in another – moving, for instance, from a sculptural collage to a painting on canvas. While working individually, both artists share this pluralistic approach, creating threads that weave from one project to the next.


I Wish I Was a Telephone includes a selection of paintings, fabric assemblages, and mixed-media ceramics by Slade, alongside drawings, handmade books, and tea box sculptures by Takal. The works are a window into two expansive practices that make use of a range of materials while looking to the specific narrative of one’s own life for inspiration. They offer a refreshing sense of sincerity and personal style, celebrating playfulness and improvisation, as much as a transgressive, formal rigor. If a telephone could be used to speak with the past, Slade and Takal might talk with influential figures such as Cookie Mueller and Ree Morton – inspirational women that are celebrated for their alternative, original voices. In this exhibition, they are in dialogue with one another, and their works offer a line for visitors to phone in and engage with the stories they create.


Nora Jane Slade (b. 1986, Santa Cruz, CA) received her BFA from Pratt Institute in 2009. She has had solo exhibitions at Artist Curated Projects and the Eckhaus Latta rEtail Store, both in Los Angeles, CA. She has participated in group exhibitions at venues including: Chin’s Push in Los Angeles, CA; Nicelle Beauchene Gallery in New York, NY; and the MOMA PS1 Printshop in Queens, NY. Her clothing project, Waggy Tee, can be found in the Iko Iko store residency at the Hammer Museum and online. This summer, Slade will be a resident at Conduit in Portland, OR.


Marisa Takal (b. 1991, Montclair, NJ) received her BFA from San Francisco Art Institute in 2013. Recent solo exhibitions were held at Nigh Gallery and SADE, both in Los Angeles, CA, and the artist has her second solo exhibition at Night Gallery opening later this year.  She has participated in group exhibitions at venues such as: Alter Space in San Francisco, CA; Jeffrey Stark in New York, NY; M+B in Los Angeles, CA; and Interstate Projects in Brooklyn, NY. In 2016, she was the recipient of the Rema Hort Mann Foundation Emerging Artist Award and the Stanley Hollander Award.


I Wish I Was a Telephone is curated by Paulina Samborska, Curatorial Programming Coordinator at the Ben Maltz Gallery at Otis College of Art and Design.

Located in the Bolsky Gallery, ground floor of the Galef Fine Arts Center.

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About the Exhibition