February 1 - March 10, 2023

Denise Bibro Fine Art, NYC, is pleased to announce a solo exhibition of Naomi Press.

Works of a multitude of great female artists were continuously pushed to the side throughout history and the 20th Century due to their male colleagues dominating the field. Only in recent years female artists such as Naomi Press have been getting the acknowledgement that they deserve. Press was one of the very few women working in large scale with steel in the second half of the 20th Century. Her works are on par with such artists as Beverly Pepper, Claire Falkenstein, and Louise Nevelson, yet she enjoyed far less exposure. Now is the time to rediscover wonderful artists of the past, whose creative talent was wrongfully overlooked. Naomi Press is more than deserving of the attention of current public.

Despite the focus on male sculptors, Press’ work still received praise from many notable figures of the contemporary art scene. An accomplished dealer, André Emmerich, was thoroughly impressed with her work and exhibited her sculpture. Aesthetic beauty and masterful craftsmanship of Press were also admired by arguably one of the most influential critics of the abstract expressionist era, Clement Greenberg, with whom Press developed a friendship. Through Greenberg she was introduced to such artists as Helen Frankenthaler and Kenneth Noland. At that time Press also got to know the work of Anthony Caro, which influenced her art as well. It was Greenberg who suggested Press switch from bronze to steel. According to Press’ own words, moving to steel and large scale was freeing and exciting. This transition was crucial in the context of development of Modernist sculpture, when the object of art steps down from its base, enters the space of the viewer, and confronts the public face to face. Press was one of the first sculptors to embrace this groundbreaking idea.

Naomi Press was born in Poland and later lived in South Africa, England, and USA. This unique blend of cultures informed her art. One of the inspirations behind her work was the time she spent working in South African industrial factories. Ballet is another significant influence in her life and practice. In her youth Press was an award winning ballet dancer and received offers from esteemed institutions such as the Royal Ballet school in London. Unfortunately, she was unable to pursue this track in life due to various obstacles. Eventually, Press channeled her love for dance and choreography into creating three- dimensional works of art.

There is an inherent motion in her elegant sculptures made out of curved forms and flowing shapes. Press’ works exhibit an extraordinary awareness of the human body and the way it moves, which a fine ballet dancer certainly would posses. Press’ works are unusually lyrical and almost ethereal in character. Futuristic shapes comprised out of arching elements capture the attention of the viewer and provoke one to follow each bent line. The smooth surface of the hard material interacts with the surroundings in which the artwork is placed, reacting to light and reflecting the world around it in a strange, yet fascinating way. Press’ creations become an integral part of the environment. They exist in harmony with it, yet still preserve their monumental presence. Her sculptures entice the senses of the viewer and offer interactive visual pleasure.

Naomi Press has exhibited widely around the world including André Emmerich Top Gallant Farm, Pawling, NY; Phyllis Weil & Co, NYC; Dome Gallery, NYC; Bermondsey Project Space, London, England; Albemarle Gallery, London, England; University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa; Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa; Gallery International, Cape Town, South Africa. Her sculptures were installed in such public spaces as Williams Island, Miami, FL; Cavendish Square, London, England; Cambridge University, Cambridge, England; Tel Aviv Foundation, Tel Aviv/Jaffa, Israel; Anglo-American Finance House, Johannesburg, South Africa; Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel, among others.