You might notice, upon entering White Columns, that there is no checklist available. The boundaries between works—the boundaries between work and wall—are porous, overwritten by floods of fuchsias, blues and oranges, augmented with thick black marker, silver sharpie, and white gel. It is apparent that Nicole Storm equates the work itself with the process of its making, darting around the space, rearranging, adding, readjusting, and annotating, all in service of creating. This is the artist’s first show outside of Creative Growth Art Center, a Bay Area non-profit for artists with disabilities—Storm, who lives with Down syndrome, creates an immersive installation that combines drawings, paintings, and sculptural works.
Clusters of thick aluminum cans set upon the floor, which may have once contained what now covers every inch of their surfaces, get the Storm treatment. Upon close inspection a catalogue of surfaces matches the index of marks: the naked, white-painted walls, raw-edged, blue-speckled hand-made paper, glossy paper, matte paper, and skin-thin brown paper with holes at the folds, all breathe with the ventilation of the space. In this exhibition, mark-making is on view. There are tally marks which march in orderly fashion for a couple of beats before veering off in various directions while others are layers of curling strokes which overtake the page, all reminiscent of an encroaching storm cloud.
Nicole Storm, installation view, White Columns, 2021. Photograph: Marc Tatti.