Matthew Marks Gallery

Ron Nagle

Ron Nagle is known for his intimately scaled sculptures made of ceramic elements that are slip-cast, fired, and embellished with epoxy and other synthetic materials that allow him to expand his forms beyond the limits of clay. Some are glazed to a hot-rod finish, others textured like stucco and then airbrushed. Despite the work’s three-dimensionality, Nagle explains, “everything is done, even subconsciously, from a flat point of view.”

Nagle began working with ceramics during the 1950s as a high school student. In 1961 he apprenticed to the pioneering ceramic artist Peter Voulkos at the University of California, Berkeley, and later exhibited his work alongside Voulkos, Ken Price, and other innovative West Coast artists working in clay. His work is inspired by such artists as Giorgio Morandi, Phillip Guston, and George Herriman, and by such varied forms as Japanese Momoyama ceramics and Hawaiian funerary monuments. This merging of incongruous elements also extends to his titles, which are loaded with puns and wordplay: Centaur of Attention (2014), for example, or Beirut Canal (2009). “I’m trying to create a hybrid,” he explains. “You can’t quite put your finger on it.”

Ron Nagle (b. 1939) was born in San Francisco, where he currently lives and works. His first one-person exhibition took place in 1968, and since then he has had exhibitions at numerous museums, including the Saint Louis Art Museum, the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh, the San Diego Museum of Art, the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam, the Secession in Vienna, the Fridericianum in Kassel, and the Berkeley Art Museum. In 2013 his work was included in the exhibition “The Encyclopedic Palace” at the 55th Venice Biennale. Nagle is also a musician, and a deluxe edition of his acclaimed 1970 album Bad Rice was released on Omnivore Recordings in 2015.

Selected Works

Exhibitions

RON NAGLE
Necessary Obstacles

September 10–October 23, 2021

523 West 24th Street
New York

RON NAGLE
Getting to No

May 2–June 15, 2019

522 West 22nd Street
New York

RON NAGLE
Ice Breaker

January 21–April 8, 2017

1062 North Orange Grove
Los Angeles

RON NAGLE
Five O’Clock Shadow

September 11–October 24, 2015

522 West 22nd Street
New York

Group Exhibitions

ONE HUNDRED DRAWINGS

November 8, 2019–January 18, 2020

523 West 24th Street
New York

Books

RON NAGLE
Sub Rosa

RON NAGLE
Getting to No

NAGLE, RON

ONE HUNDRED DRAWINGS