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Nancy Dwyer has been exhibiting her word sculptures, paintings and multimedia installations worldwide for over twenty five years.
Dwyer is considered a core member of what art historians call "The Pictures Generation", a loose generational grouping of artists who came of age around the mid-1970s. Their early work, in particular, is typically characterized by their critical appropriation of images from the mainstream media. Dwyer and her contemporaries approached the image-saturated pop cultural landscape with a sense of suspicion and irony, even black comedy. Dwyer’s own early series Cardz (1980), for example, was created from an archive the artist had assembled of magazine clippings, advertisements and news stories purporting to depict “everyday life.”
In the mid-1980s Dwyer turned to what she calls “word sculptures,” drawing on her expertise as a one-time commercial sign maker to craft punchy, often darkly comedic pieces that provide Dwyer with a vehicle for her critical take on contemporary American society, mores and messaging. A recent example of this sort of work is BIG EGO II (2010), a huge inflatable sculpture spelling out the word “ego” in bloated, vulnerable-looking letters made from bright yellow nylon.