In a one person show at the Frank Lloyd Gallery from February 26 – March 26, 2005, Ron Nagle will present new ceramic sculpture. The show will include eight intense, compact small sculptures, drawn from Nagle's Wedgeware and Smallfry series. Each piece is a masterful mix of intricate textures and glazes coupled with offbeat, seductive colors.
The Smallfry, tiny cup-like objects with gleaming, tiered walls, boast flawlessly smooth surfaces with refined, decorative embellishments. The crusty, airbrushed Wedgeware, vertical sculptures with pinched torsos and glowing airbrushed surfaces, are equally intriguing. All, of course, come with Nagle's witty titles, ranging from Sue Blue Cone Two to Duck Salad.
As in previous exhibitions at the Frank Lloyd Gallery, Nagle draws on an aesthetic built around the colors and textures of West Coast culture, from custom cars to stucco facades. Reviewing Nagle's 2002 exhibition in Art Forum, Christopher Miles wrote,
"Nagle's cups and bottles, with their saturated colors and highlighted highlights, reference a kustomizing spirit, a faith that something surreal, baroque, powerful, sexy, awe-inspiring, and unique can be coaxed from the factory floor model".
Nagle's attention to detail and affinity for popular culture also defines his work:
"He's a consummate craftsman with a worldly sense of history and humor. His aren't pretentious in-jokes that reassure cognoscenti of their privileged status in the art world, but accessible witticism and odditities that draw on popular culture and artistic precedent …the work has had attitude from the start, and these recent sculptures are as irreverent as they are weirdly beautiful."
-Leah Ollman, Los Angeles Times
A San Francisco-based artist born in 1939, Nagle has been exhibiting his small ceramic sculptures for more than forty years. Discovering clay in the midst of a pivotal time for the medium, Nagle gained inspiration from the likes of Peter Voulkos and Ken Price, then set out on his own. Consistently dedicated to his exploration of intimately scaled, finely crafted sculpture, he has exhibited widely and his work is included in the collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.