Joshua Nathanson: Drink More Water
April 28, 2022 - June 3, 2022
Van Doren Waxter is delighted to announce representation of Los Angeles artist Joshua Nathanson and an exhibition of new paintings to go on view at the gallery’s 1907 townhouse at 23 East 73rd Street from April 28 to June 3, 2022. The eleven paintings and seven works on paper are a stylistic shift for the artist, reflecting his love of art history, paint, and formal interests in viscosity, transparency, and materiality. This is Nathanson’s first solo exhibition with Van Doren Waxter and follows his two-person exhibition (2019) at the gallery, as well as one-person shows in Los Angeles, Seoul, Shanghai, and Tokyo and acquisitions by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago.
Nathanson is an adventurous, experimental painter (b. 1976) who earned his Master of Fine Arts from Art Center College of Art and Design in Pasadena. His influences range from the grand modernist Henri Matisse, to the materially inventive Sigmar Polke, to the cartoonish, gestural Philip Guston. Inventive, physical, and social, he is interested in technique and process and frequently organizes drawing parties with other painters as a “way to get out of my own head.” A scrap from a recent gathering was collaged into Get Apple (2022). This method is one of many strategies used to manifest ideas that are hidden from resting consciousness, which Nathanson describes as a necessary way to “throw myself off-balance.” Other strategies include: pouring paint, adding solvents, automatic painting/drawing, or adding collaged elements like tissue paper.
The artist’s hallucinatory, thickly built-up works made in an unfettered, unscripted, and all out approach—“going in, going nuts”—with squeegees, poured paint and accumulated paper, and his fingers continue his use of hybridity and humor both as a tool and a lure for exploring a full range of human experiences including his vulnerabilities and fears. In a thrilling departure from the sleek, flat canvasses he has produced for nearly a decade made with digital and traditional techniques that he says “read like a screen and pure color,” the new paintings are now “much more physical and material…doing only the things paint can do.”
In layered, richly hued compositions such as You Are Not a Camera (2022), Nathanson invokes a range of references and images, from the everyday to dreams, fairy tales, and childhood. The vibrant, collaged Channel Changer (2022) evidences the artist’s interest in creating fantastical scenes of everyday life: a group of oranges radiates within a highly expressive canvas populated with mysterious beings and liquified expanses. The presentation includes lush, ebullient works on paper, such as Hiding in the Grass (2021) and The Weight of a Horse (2021) that are dazzling and kaleidoscopic in their compositions of figures, energetic patterns, and forms.
Joshua Nathanson was born 1976 in Washington, D.C. and currently lives and works in Los Angeles, CA. Nathanson studied at The School of Visual Arts, New York, NY (BFA) and Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, CA (MFA). The artist's solo and two-person exhibitions include Yuz Museum, Shanghai, CN; Van Doren Waxter, New York, NY (two-person); Downs and Ross, New York, NY; Kaikai Kiki Gallery, Tokyo, JP; Luce Gallery, Turin, IT; and at Various Small Fires, Los Angeles, CA / Seoul, KR. Group exhibitions include: Sharjah Art Foundation, United Arab Emirates; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL; Whitechapel Gallery, London, UK; Yokohama Museum, Yokohama, JP; and 356 S. Mission, Los Angeles, CA. Joshua Nathanson’s work is included in the permanent museum collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, CA; the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, IL; and the Yuz Museum, Shanghai, CN.