Ron Nagle is known for his intimately scaled sculptures that combine traditional materials such as ceramic and porcelain with other materials, including epoxy resin and catalyzed polyurethane, to create forms that cannot be achieved in clay alone. 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.”
“For over fifty years I have been making small objects mostly out of clay, which, in the beginning, had reference to ceramic vessels. Over the years my work has evolved to forms which are less referential to pottery but still maintain much of the idiomatic elements that have been associated with ceramics. As time has gone by, my interest in merging form and color has led me in a direction where I now think of my objects as 3-D paintings.”
Nagle was born in San Francisco in 1939. He began working with ceramics during the 1950s as a high school student. In 1961 he apprenticed to 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.
Nagle is also a musician, and a deluxe edition of his acclaimed 1970 album Bad Rice was released on Omnivore Recordings in 2015. He also created sound effects for the film The Exorcist (1973).
“In addition to my visual artwork, I am also a singer/songwriter, record producer, and a huge fan of pop music, particularly rhythm and blues. As time goes on, the differences and similarities of both endeavors seem to feed one-another. The bottom line is; the greatest thrill for me is making stuff, whether it’s visual or musical. If other people like what I do, all the better.”
At the Secession, Ron Nagle is going to show a selection of recent sculptures. He lives and works in San Francisco.
23. NOV 2019–Ende JAN 2020