Ron Nagle: Handsome Drifter
Ron Nagle: Handsome Drifter by Aspara DeQuinzio
One of the most original artists working today, San Francisco–based Ron Nagle, the enfant terrible of abstract expressionist ceramics, has made stunning, colourful, entirely unique small clay sculptures since the 1950s. Lushly illustrated, this is the most comprehensive and scholarly publication on the artist to date, with essays by curator Apsara DiQuinzio and Berlin-based art critic and theorist Jan Verwoert.
In his sculpture, Nagle mixes allusions to modernism, middlebrow culture and the special pop sensibility of Northern California, making ceramic vessels no bigger than a few inches that draw on everything from Japanese tea ceremonies to Krazy Kat. Made with an overarching sense of playfulness and linguistic humor, a bodily and architectural sensibility, and Nagle’s keen attention to color, these finely tuned, pitch-perfect sculptures condense sensory pleasure into perfect packages of experience and feeling. Their miniature scale makes these odd, elegant, sensual and sometimes abject little abstract sculptures endlessly charming models for the imagination.
A lively conversation about Nagle’s studio practice and unique process with curator and director Dan Byers of Harvard’s Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts rounds out this unmissable book.
Hardback, 160pages. 23cm x 23cm
Publisher: University of California, Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive. February 2020