Amy Nathan is an artist based in Berkeley, California. Her work has recently been exhibited at Art Toronto, Art Market San Francisco, the Seattle Art Fair, the Headlands Center for the Arts, Traywick Contemporary, and with the International Sculpture Center at the Pyramid Hill Museum. Nathan was a 2018-2019 Graduate Fellow at the Headlands Center for the Arts. She received her MFA from Mills College in 2018, and she is a co-director of Royal NoneSuch Gallery in Oakland, California. Her work has appeared in the New American Paintings and Sculpture Magazine.
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
2019 Glyph Slipper, CULT | Aimee Friberg Exhibitions, San Francisco, CA
2018 The Society of Marks, Slide Space 123, Oakland, CA
2019 She was moving, even when she stood still, Traywick Contemporary, Berkeley, CA
2019 The Ordinary Instant: Graduate Fellowship Exhibition, Headlands Center for the Arts, Sausalito, CA
2019 CULT | Aimee Friberg Exhibitions Booth, Art Market San Francisco, San Francisco, CA
2019 The International Sculpture Center Outstanding Student Achievement in Contemporary Sculpture Exhibition, Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park and Museum, Hamilton, OH
2018 Introductions, Root Division, San Francisco, CA
2018 Art Toronto, CULT | Aimee Friberg Exhibitions, Toronto, Canada
2018 Seattle Art Fair, CULT | Aimee Friberg Exhibitions, Seattle, WA
2018 Female Trouble, CULT | Aimee Friberg Exhibitions, San Francisco, CA
2018 Bay Area MFA, Mills Building, curated by ArtSource Inc., San Francisco, 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 Neighbors, Embark Gallery, San Francisco, 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, Berkeley Art Center, Berkeley, CA
2010 Penta, Vessel Gallery, Oakland, CA
RESIDENCIES AND AWARDS
2020 Local Language, Artist in Residence
2019 Facebook Artist in Residence
2018-19 Headlands Center for the Arts, Graduate Fellowship, Sausalito, CA
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
2016 Kala Art Institute, Artist in Residence, Berkeley, CA
2019 Wilson, Emily. “Critics’ Picks: Amy Nathan.” Artforum, November 2019.
2019 Art Maze Magazine, Anniversary Edition, Issue 15, 2019, pp. 135.
2019 Frock, Christian L. “Gallery Highlights Curated by Christian L. Frock.” SF/Arts Monthly. October, 2019.
2019 Desmarais, Charles. "7 Bay Area Gallery Shows to See This Fall." San Francisco Chronicle. August, 2019.
2018 "2018 Outstanding Student Achievement In Contemporary Sculpture Awards." Sculpture Magazine. October 2018
2018 MFA Annual, New American Paintings. Juried 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.
2019 Artist Talk, Real Time and Space, Oakland, CA
2019 Catherine Wagner and Amy Nathan in Conversation, CULT | Aimee Friberg Exhibitions
2018 Artist Talk, Introduction to Abstraction, Stanford University
2018 Artist Talk. Introduction to Visual Thinking, University of California, Berkeley. Followed by a workshop to introduce students to Adobe Creative Suite
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 INSTALLATION, Teaching Assistant to Chris Sollars at Mills College
2017 SCULPTURE, Teaching Assistant to Will Rogan at Mills College
2018-present ROYAL NONESUCH GALLERY, Oakland, CA. A co-director of the artist-run alternative art and event space
2017-2018 UNDERLINE PROJECTS. Berkeley, CA. Director and curator of a non-commercial, experimental space for artists