Ron Nagle, A Rose Grows in Coma, 2010, ceramic, 4-1/4 x 3-1/2 x 7 inches

Until September 25, 2010 – James Kelly Contemporary

James Kelly Contemporary is pleased to announce a solo exhibition of ceramic sculpture and drawings by Ron Nagle. This will be his first solo show with the gallery. Nagle, whose career spans the past forty years, was a student of the renowned ceramic sculptor Peter Voulkos and currently lives and works in San Francisco, CA. Early in his career, having seen exhibitions of paintings by Giorgio Morandi, and teacups from Japan’s Azuchi-Momoyama period (1568-1600), Nagle decided to focus on making cups. Until recently, he worked almost exclusively on variations of the cup shape, often pushing the form toward pure abstraction.
However, in recent years, Nagle has shifted his focus away from the cup/vessel form focusing on small-scale abstract sculptures. These new works are highly detailed, although intimate in scale. The unique textures and garish color combinations are trademarks of Nagle’s work. He combines rough highly textured surfaces, which have been sprayed with mat color glazes, with exquisitely smooth surfaces on the same piece.
A rigid formalist, Nagle often fires his sculptures up to forty times during the glazing process, and carefully constructs the drip-like features that at first glance appear to be accidental. All of the sculptures originate directly from the artist’s drawings, which are complete sketches of realized and unrealized abstract forms done on legal pads. Several of these drawings will be included in the exhibition as well.
In addition to being a renowned sculpture, Nagle is also an accomplished musician and songwriter.
Nagle’s work is included in the permanent collections of the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, England; the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, Netherlands; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, CA; the Renwick Gallery, National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, CA; and the Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, PA among others.

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