“Cumulus”—a heap, a piling up—is a fitting name for Nina Katchadourian’s newest exhibition at Pace. A homecoming of sorts, a number of influential projects begun or first shown in New York return in this show, matured and expanded. The interdisciplinary artist’s longest-running photographic series, “Sorted Books,” for instance—which is exactly what it sounds like—returns with new work scoured and arranged from Isamu Noguchi’s library in Queens.
Katchadourian’s “Paranormal Postcard” series also returns from its last showing in New York two decades ago, webbing across the gallery wall like the work of a paranoiac, with conspiratorial red lines stretching between and within postcards, connecting paddlers in sunny Austin, Texas, the sunset-hued skyline of Auckland, and the blue harbors of Stockholm and Boston. Lines of personal effect continue in the hilarious and creepy The Genealogy of the Supermarket (2005 - ongoing), in which a branching chart of supermarket brands are framed against a Victorian wallpaper-patterned wall like an aristocratic family tree.
The exhibition is not only a victory lap of Katchadourian’s many greatest hits. It presents work never before exhibited as well. Her “Whisker Print” series, for instance, dating from 2013, features whisper-soft, white-on navy monoprints made from the strokes of cat whiskers, which trace out jellyfish, the wizened heads of rodents, and the long-lashed eye sockets of unknown mammals.
Nina Katchadourian, Whisker Print (1A), 2013. Whisker stencil monotype on Sunray Satin paper 11-3/4 × 11-3/4 inches; image 15-1/2 × 15-1/2 inches, paper. © Nina Katchadourian, courtesy Pace Gallery.