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Nicola López: Haunted

Visiting Artist on view at Albuquerque Museum


On View through June 27, 2021 

Nicola Lopez, Haunted, installation view

Nicola López
Born Santa Fe, NM 1975 Lives Brooklyn, NY
Monotype on mylar, projectors with steel mounts and video
lent by the artist
Supported by the Frederick Hammersley Fund for the Arts at the Albuquerque Community Foundation

About the 
Albuquerque Museum 
Visiting Artist Program

Since 2011, the Visiting Artist program at Albuquerque Museum has featured contemporary artists with a connection to New Mexico. The annual program provides an invited artist the opportunity to reimagine and activate the museum’s lobby, which is the first space visitors encounter upon entering the museum. The program includes the display of the artist’s work for one year, public engagement, and artist talks. The program aims to provide a bridge between the artistic practice of the visiting artist and the experience of contemporary art by the public.

The Visiting Artist program considers artists with compelling conceptual creativity. The large scale space of the museum lobby has inspired several artists to create site-specific installations. Artists, however, are given the freedom to determine how they want to interact with the space.

2011: Gronk 
2012: Catalina Delgado Trunk
2013: Larry Bob Phillips
2014: Ernest Doty
2015: Lea Anderson
2016: Virgil Ortiz 
2017: Paul Sarkisian
2019: Karl Hofmann
2020: Nicola López




Nicola López’s installation, Haunted, brings an alternative experience of New Mexico’s natural landscape into Albuquerque Museum’s lobby as part of the annual Visiting Artist program. While the layers of color and representations of texture echo the beauty and remoteness of many places in the state, Haunted, is a site-responsive work that reveals the far reaching impacts humans have had on landscapes that are now and forever altered.

According to Lopez, “Alongside the forces of geology and time, human actions have touched every part of the earth’s surface and the reality of all things that inhabit it. Nature as a site untouched by humanity is a ghost that haunts us just as the future is already haunted by the trickle-down and side effects of past, present, and future technologies and the specters of the atrocities we inflict on our environment in the name of progress.”

Collaged, printed and hand-drawn elements are installed directly on the wall to create a hybrid landscape in which geological and human-built features intertwine. This static landscape is inhabited by moving images projected directly over the wall-mounted collage. Since sunlight pours into the lobby area through large windows adjacent to the exhibition space, the projection are visible to varying degrees as light conditions shift throughout the day and seasons. Sometimes the projection is barely visible—and entirely ghostlike—while at other times it is stronger, the way that phantoms can seem most palpable in spaces of darkness. The projected imagery includes a mix of original documentary and constructed video footage. It engages ideas of the sublime, the surreal and the all-too-real as it explores how our landscape is now permanently haunted by human impact.

About the Artist

Nicola Lopez
Clayton Porter

The Albuquerque Museum Visiting Artist Program is supported in part by a grant from the Frederick Hammersley Fund for the Arts at the Albuquerque Community Foundation.