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Nancy Graves

             Nancy Graves (1940-1995) is a sculptor of natural forms. She casts ordinary objects like vegetables as well as sardines, and crayfish whose presence in sculptor is not ordinary. Sometimes her sculptures are figures, plants, entire landscapes, and even seascapes. Nancy was the daughter of an assistant director at the Berkshire museum in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. She was very singled minded and new she wanted to be an artist at the age of twelve. "The decision was prompted for the most part by her frequent visits to the Berkshire Museum, which housed all sorts of displays on varying scientific and artistic disciplines. Natural science and history, cultural studies, and art all were placed side by side in an environment that had an aura of curiosity to it- (Barr 1). Nancy had a passion for craft and began first with drawing proceeding to painting. She was disappointed in the beginning because she could not find a style of her own. She went in search of inspiration to Vassar College, graduating in English Literature, and continuing her education at Yale Summer School of Music and Art in Norfolk, Connecticut, and then attending Yale School of Art and Architecture. Everyone around her could see her talent as an artist however she was still unhappy with her work, which at the time was simple scientific drawings that demonstrated her interest in cartography. She decided taking a three-dimensional piece and turning it two-dimensional showed a lack a detail. .
             In between 1962 and 1964 Graves was still a two dimensional artist but began branching out and being influenced by Alex Katz, Al Held, and Jack Tworkov. Each of these individuals taught her something that was unfamiliar in her work. She began to make her own style in expressive art. Alex Katz's style dealt with abstract use of color, very unreal and simplistic. "He said so himself when he stated "I like to make an image so simple you can't avoid it, and so complicated you can't figure it out- (2).

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