Nathan


Nathan makes installations, sculptures, media art and conceptual artworks. By focusing on techniques and materials, Nathan uses references and ideas that are so integrated into the process of the composition of the work that they may escape those who do not take the time to explore how and why these images haunt you, like a good film, long after you’ve seen them.

His installations are characterised by the use of everyday objects in an atmosphere of middleclass mentality in which recognition plays an important role. By applying abstraction, he creates intense personal moments masterfully created by means of rules and omissions, acceptance and refusal, luring the viewer round and round in circles.

His works are saturated with obviousness, mental inertia, clichés and bad jokes. They question the coerciveness that is derived from the more profound meaning and the superficial aesthetic appearance of an image. Through a radically singular approach that is nevertheless inscribed in the contemporary debate, he considers making art a craft which is executed using clear formal rules and which should always refer to social reality.

His works appear as dreamlike images in which fiction and reality meet, well-known tropes merge, meanings shift, past and present fuse. Time and memory always play a key role. With a subtle minimalistic approach, he makes works that can be seen as self-portraits. Sometimes they appear idiosyncratic and quirky, at other times, they seem typical by-products of American superabundance and marketing.

His practice provides a useful set of allegorical tools for manoeuvring with a pseudo-minimalist approach in the world of installation art: these meticulously planned works resound and resonate with images culled from the fantastical realm of imagination. By applying a poetic and often metaphorical language, he formalizes the coincidental and emphasizes the conscious process of composition that is behind the seemingly random works. The thought processes, which are supposedly private, highly subjective and unfiltered in their references to dream worlds, are frequently revealed as assemblages.

His works are notable for their perfect finish and tactile nature. This is of great importance and bears witness to great craftsmanship. By experimenting with aleatoric processes, he wants to amplify the astonishment of the spectator by creating compositions or settings that generate tranquil poetic images that leave traces and balances on the edge of recognition and alienation.

His works doesn’t reference recognisable form. The results are deconstructed to the extent that meaning is shifted and possible interpretation becomes multifaceted. By taking daily life as subject matter while commenting on the everyday aesthetic of middle class values, he creates work in which a fascination with the clarity of content and an uncompromising attitude towards conceptual and minimal art can be found. The work is aloof and systematic and a cool and neutral imagery is used.

His works feature coincidental, accidental and unexpected connections which make it possible to revise art history and, even better, to complement it. Combining unrelated aspects lead to surprising analogies. By parodying mass media by exaggerating certain formal aspects inherent to our contemporary society, he often creates work using creative game tactics, but these are never permissive. Play is a serious matter: during the game, different rules apply than in everyday life and even everyday objects undergo transubstantiation.

His works are a drawn reflection upon the art of installation art itself: thoroughly self-referential, yet no less aesthetically pleasing, and therefore deeply inscribed in the history of modernism – made present most palpably in the artist’s exploration of some of the most hallowed of modernist paradigms. Nathan currently lives and works in Austin.