A Thing is Mostly Space, an outdoor sculpture by Isabel Nolan was commissioned by Launch Pad for the private residence of Laura Taft Paulsen and Bill Paulsen in Tribeca, New York City. To inaugurate the commission, an In Conversation took place between the artist and Kelly Baum, Curator of Postwar and Contemporary Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art on Tuesday 29th September 2015.
Isabel Nolan (b. 1974, Dublin) makes work driven by intellectual ambition and the care forcrafting material. Science, art, history and literature often serve as points of departure, as she circumnavigates her way to a result that is unpredictable but very distinct to Nolan’s sensibility. Her practice includes sculpture, fabric-hangings, paintings, texts and works on paper. In concert they work to elucidate a consistent line of inquiry into the fundamental question of how meaning is produced. Recent solo exhibitions include: The air between things, Stephen McKenna & Isabel Nolan, China OCT Boxes Art Museum, Shunde District, Guangzhou, China (2019); Ein Fuß in der Welt / One foot in the world, Kunstverein Langenhagen, Germany, (2018); Another View from Nowhen, London Mithraeum Bloomberg SPACE, (2017–18); Curling up with reality, Grazer Kunstverein, Graz, (2017–2018); Calling on Gravity, Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin (2017); The weakened eye of day, which toured from the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin (2014) to Mercer Union, Toronto and CAG, Vancouver (2016).
Kelly Baum has been the Cynthia Hazen Polsky and Leon Polsky Curator of Contemporary Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York since 2015. Prior to this, she held curatorial positions at the Princeton University Art Museum (2007–15), the Blanton Museum of Art at University of Texas at Austin (2002–2007), and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (2000–2002). She has organized dozens of exhibitions, including Carol Bove (2006); Nobody's Property: Art, Land, Space (2010); New Jersey as Non-Site (2013), for which she received a Warhol Curatorial Research Fellowship; Delirious: Art at the Limits of Reason, 1950–1980 (2017); The Roof Garden Commission: Alicja Kwade, ParaPivot (2019); and The Facade Commission: Wangechi Mutu, The New Ones, will free Us (2019). She also co-curated Odyssey: Jack Whitten Sculpture, 1963–2017 (2018). Her writing has been widely published in journals such as October and Art Journal as well as anthologies like Critical Landscapes: Art, Space, Politics (2005). She received her PhD from the University of Delaware in 2005, and was a 2018 fellow in the Centre for Curatorial Leadership.