Amy Nathan is an artist and curator based in Berkeley, California. She received her MFA from Mills College in 2018. She will be a Graduate Fellow at the Headlands Center for the Arts from 2018-2019. Amy is the director of Underline Projects, a non-commercial, experimental gallery space in her home; and a co-director of Royal NoneSuch Gallery in Oakland, California. Her work will appear in the New American Paintings MFA Annual in the summer of 2018, and in Sculpture Magazine in October of 2018.
My painted, faceted sculptures begin with the act of applying pressure to images and language, cracking open their systems, making them tactile, and distending them into an expanded space. Made of adaptable modular forms, my sculptures employ tautness and slack, flexibility and rigidity, counterweight, draping and propping up—simple machines with palpable physical properties. I excavate, draw and trace forms, cluster them into color palettes and patterns, shuffle and guide them towards an internal logic. Putting ideas and materials through the wringer, taking-apart-and-bringing-back-together has become my research and my practice. Through these processes I discover how chosen images or words operate, and communicate what is embedded or compressed within.
I address many subjects in my work: the gendered nature of politics and power, classical mythology and contemporary literature, tension between the haptic and the retinal, and the body’s visceral reaction to its environment. There is a consistent throughline in my examination of forces in opposition, and a need to open up and aerate an idea. My work incorporates visual puns and material onomatopoeias: line becomes edge becomes surface, traversing a borderline of two and three dimensions as a way to think through perception. What I build references the digital, operates in analogue, indexes its own construction, communicates at its own pace and forms its own agency.
2018 MFA, Mills College, Oakland, CA
1995 BA and BFA, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
SOLO AND TWO-PERSON EXHIBITIONS
2018 The Society of Marks, with Sally Scopa, Slide Space 123, Oakland, CA
2011 Prints and Drawings, Lola, Berkeley, CA
2018 RELAY 2, Slide Space 123, Oakland, CA
2018 Figure 8, Mills College Art Museum, Oakland, CA
2017 Sculpture as a Verb, Underline Projects, Berkeley, CA
2017 Blue/Print, Slide Space 123, Oakland, CA
2016 Dash Against Darkness, The Native Daughter, Sausalito, CA
2015 Botanica, Bedford Gallery, Walnut Creek, CA
2015 HERE, curated by Aimee Friberg/CULT Exhibitions, Berkeley Art Center, Berkeley, CA
2010 Penta, Vessel Gallery, Oakland, CA
2018-19 The Headlands Graduate Fellowship, Sausalito, CA
2016 Kala Art Institute, Berkeley, CA
2018 MFA Annual, New American Paintings. Curated by Anne Ellegood, Senior Curator, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles
2018 Piscitelli, James. “Amy Nathan’s Installation Work.” Embark Arts 2017, edited by Tania Houtzager and Angelica Jardini, Embark Gallery, 2018, pp. 94-95.
2018 The Jay DeFeo MFA Prize at Mills College. Jurors: Eungie Joo, Curator of Contemporary Art at SFMOMA; and Anthony Huberman, Director of the CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts
2018 The International Sculpture Center Outstanding Student Achievement in Contemporary Sculpture Award
2017 Artist Talk. Introduction to Visual Thinking, University of California, Berkeley. Followed by mentoring a group of students from this class on a project
2018 Artist Talk. Introduction to Visual Thinking, University of California, Berkeley. Followed by a workshop to introduce students to Adobe Creative Suite