Nicole Wermers – ‘Day Care’

When

Fri, 1 March 2024 - Sat, 20 April 2024

Where

The Common Guild - 60 York Street Glasgow, G2 8JX

Further info

Cost: Free

Type: Exhibition

Nicole Wermers’ ‘Day Care’ is an exhibition of new and recent sculptures set against the backdrop of Glasgow’s urban landscape. The works on show intertwine visions of women’s bodies at work or rest with the economics and politics of (urban) space, and the visibility and value of high art with the invisibility of care and maintenance work.

‘Day Care’ includes two newly commissioned sculptures, alongside sculptural interventions in the corporate office space of The Common Guild’s temporary premises on the seventh floor of 60 York Street. The exhibition marks Wermers’ most substantial institutional UK presentation to date.

‘Day Care’ presents work from the artist’s latest series, ‘Reclining Females’ (2022–2024). These sculptures bring together the familiar, art historical trope of the reclining nude, with readymade commercial products and the banal apparatus of the service industry to critically engage with the social, psychological and economic conditions of urban space and architecture.

Wermers’ lounging female nudes appear larger than life-size and are hand-formed in plaster over styrofoam. Striking poses that evoke Henry Moore’s reclining bronze women, these voluptuous figures have the rough-hewn appearance of largescale sculptural studies. Each of the female figures adopts a different posture of repose, heads angled to meet the viewer’s gaze from an elevated position. They balance on wheeled maintenance carts filled with mops, freshly pressed linen, plastic bottles and chemical products for cleaning and disinfecting spaces such as hotels and corporate environments: spaces like the temporary gallery where they will be displayed.

The formal juxtaposition of the figures and carts create tension between ideas of labour and leisure, undermining gestures of decadence and desire routinely expressed by (male) renditions of the female nude. Instead, the figures imply exhausted, overworked bodies: low-waged and typically invisible women’s labour that sustains commercial and business environments. At the same time their size and elevated position asserts their defiant presence and independent agency. In the particular white-collar context of The Common Guild’s temporary space, the artworks generate discourse on corporate structures and overlooked labour hierarchies.

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