Book Launch: 'Nicola L.: Life and Art' - Camden Art Centre

Please join us for the UK launch of Nicola L.: Life and Art, an expansive publication paying tribute to the pioneering artist Nicola L. (1932-2018).

To mark the occasion, there will be a discussion about her work, featuring editor and writer Hannah Martin, curator and art historian Dr. Flavia Frigeri, artist and lecturer Deniz Ünal, and Oliver Lanzenberg.

Organised by Camden Art Centre with Apartamento and Alison Jacques.

A retrospective exhibition of work by Nicola L is scheduled to be held at Camden Art Centre in the autumn of 2024.

About the book

Nicola L.: Life and Art is the first comprehensive monograph about the pioneering artist Nicola L. (1932-2018), whose wide-ranging work—impossible to categorise—challenged ideas about identity, gender, and the body long before such questions were de rigueur. Born in Morocco to French parents, she spent her formative years in Paris attending the Beaux-Arts, only to burn most of her paintings in 1965 and move towards formats that engaged people more directly: wall-mounted canvases that could be worn as costumes, sculptures that doubled as seats, coats designed for many people to wear at once, or films about radical political figures. Far from settling in a time and place, she travelled the world, finding physical and artistic homes in the free-spirited community of Ibiza, in countercultural New York, and even, briefly, in a Lebanese jail.

The art Nicola made stemmed from the life she lived—there were no boundaries between the two. This book follows the same logic, intertwining both throughout its 304 pages: on one hand, a comprehensive catalogue raisonné of her artworks; on the other, a fanzine of Nicola’s never-seen-before memoirs, in which she narrates her incredible life, punctuated with anecdotes involving Jean-Paul Sartre, Salvador Dalí, Yves Klein, Niki de Saint Phalle, Caetano Veloso, Andy Warhol, Bad Brains, and Carolee Schneemann. Her writing is complemented by the personal stories of those who knew her and the commentary of those who have connected with her work: Christophe and David Lanzenberg (her sons), Gary Indiana (writer and long-time friend), Marta Minujín (artist and long-time friend), Pierre Restany (late critic and mentor), H.R. (Bad Brains frontman and film subject), Alexandra Cunningham Cameron, Flavia Frigeri, Ruba Katrib, and Myriam Ben Salah (curators), among many others. Edited by Hannah Martin and Omar Sosa and published by Apartamento with the support of Alison Jacques, London and the Nicola L. Collection and Archive, the book brings together original images of the work, archival photographs, essays, interviews, and journals—in sum, all the pieces of Nicola’s puzzle.