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Ron Nagle’s diminutive sculptural work is colorful, ironic, and layered with texture and detail. This seminal Californian artist, working in the professional arena for thirty years,continues his fascination with intimately scaled, finely crafted objects.

All of the new works are small, but with an intensity that will knock the viewer out. Resting atop delicate platforms, these forms refer to abstract painting. The color draws the eye to the edges, and the vibration that is set up spreads across the textured surface. The artist gives them names that are often humorous, and sometimes reminiscent of song titles: Finchilada, Dust to Dusk, and Triangular Tracy.

Other pieces belong to a continuing series of Smoove Wares, a closed cup form with a square painting and additional knife-blade appendage. Reviewing similar works in Nagle’s recent New York exhibition, critic Roberta Smith wrote, “Like Frank Stella, John Chamberlain or Ken Price, Ron Nagle operates in the gap between painting and sculpture.” An unusual color sensibility continues throughout the work, showing Nagle’s mastery of complex color relationships.

Ron Nagle was born in San Francisco in 1939, grew up in the Mission district, and graduated from San Francisco State College. However, it was exposure to the work of Ken Price and the Ferus Gallery artists that changed his direction. As the artist has stated, “Here was this guy making boxes with cups and lace and stuff, and it blew my mind.” Profoundly affected by the work of the Ferus Gallery artists, Nagle took off in a direction of his own. He cites as seminal influences the work of Giorgio Morandi, the scale of Vermeer, the finish of hot rods, and the color of his childhood neighborhood. It all adds up to an exquisite small sculpture.


1998          Flintridge Foundation Award
1997          Fellow of the American Craft Council
1996          Joan Danforth Endowed Faculty Chair, Mills College
1990-97     Faculty Research Grant, Mills College
1986          NEA Fellowship
1984          Faculty Research Grant, Mills College
1983          Mellon Grant
1981          Mellon Grant
1979          Lucie Stern Chair, Mills College
                 NEA Fellowship
1978          Adaline Kent Award, San Francisco Art Institute
1974          NEA Fellowship


1961     B.A. San Francisco State College

Museum Collections

The Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh
Charles A. Wustum Museum of Fine Arts, Racine, Wisconsin
The Contemporary Museum, Honolulu
Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, California
Detroit Institute of the Arts
Everson Museum of Art, Syracuse, New York
The George R. Gardiner Museum of Ceramic Art, Toronto
J. Patrick Lannan Foundation, Palm Beach, Florida
Kruithaus, s’Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands
Los Angeles County Museum of Art
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
Mills College Art Gallery, Oakland, California
Mint Museum of Craft & Design, Charlotte, North Carolina
Musée de Plastique, Paris
The Newark Museum, Newark, New Jersey
Newport Harbor Art Museum, Newport Beach, California
Oakland Museum, Oakland, California
Philadelphia Museum of Art
Renwick Gallery, National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institute,
     Washington, D.C.
Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, Rhode Island
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
Shigaraki Museum, Japan
St. Louis Museum of Art, St. Louis, Missouri
Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Utah Museum of Fine Arts, Salt Lake City
Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Selected Solo Exhibitions

2006          Garth Clark Gallery, New York
2005          Rena Bransten Gallery, San Francisco          
                 Frank Lloyd Gallery, Santa Monica
2004          Rena Bransten Gallery, San Francisco
2003          Dolphin, Kansas City, Missouri
2002          Frank Lloyd Gallery, Santa Monica
2001          Garth Clark Gallery, New York
                 Perimeter Gallery, Chicago
2000          Revolution Gallery, Ferndale, Michigan
1999          Rena Bransten Gallery, San Francisco
1998          Frank Lloyd Gallery, Santa Monica
1997          Revolution Gallery, Ferndale, Michigan
1996          Garth Clark Gallery, New York
                 Byron Cohen/Lennie Berkowitz Gallery for Contemporary Art,
                 Kansas City, Missouri
                 Revolution Gallery, Ferndale, Michigan
1995          Garth Clark Gallery, Los Angeles
                 Franklin Parrasch Gallery, New York
1994-93     Ron Nagle, A Survey Exhibition 1960-1993, The Carnegie Museum of                  Art, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
1993          Rena Bransten Gallery, San Francisco
1992          Bella Artes Gallery, Santa Fe, New Mexico
                 Michael Himovitz Gallery, Sacramento
1991          Rena Bransten Gallery, San Francisco
1989          Charles Cowles Gallery, New York
1988          Rena Bransten Gallery, San Francisco
1985          Charles Cowles Gallery, New York
1984          Quay Gallery, San Francisco
                 Betsy Rosenfeld Gallery, Chicago
1983          Charles Cowles Gallery, New York
                 Delahunty Gallery, Dallas
1982          Quay Gallery, San Francisco
                 Greenberg Gallery, St. Louis, Missouri
1981          Charles Cowles Gallery, New York
1979          Currents 4, St. Louis Art Museum, St. Louis, Missouri
                 Matrix Gallery I, University Art Museum, University of California,                  Berkeley
1978          Adaline Kent Award Exhibition, San Francisco Art Institute
1977          Yaw Gallery, Birmingham, Michigan
1975          Quay Gallery, San Francisco
1968          Rolf Nelson Gallery, Los Angeles
                 Dilexi Gallery, San Francisco