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New Sculpture and “Necessary Obstacles” by Artist Ron Nagle

09.29.21 | By
New Sculpture and “Necessary Obstacles” by Artist Ron Nagle
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Acclaimed contemporary sculptor Ron Nagle is well-known for his perfectly crafted and highly curious objects – most measuring no larger than 5 inches. His latest work is on view at Matthew Marks Gallery in New York through October 23rd in an exhibition titled “Necessary Obstacles“.

Ron Nagle Sculpture

Hot Prowler, 2021

The exhibition features eighteen new sculptures, meticulously hand-crafted by Nagle in his San Francisco studio. Each is a combination of material and techniques, including clay, catalyzed polyurethane, epoxy resin, and wood.

Ron Nagle Sculpture

Offline Correction, 2021

The physical magnetism in Ron’s work (I dare you not to lean closer) results from two qualities. The first is the absolute and unbelievable perfectionism of hand-craftsmanship. Art critic Dave Hickey once rightfully compared Nagle to the famous jeweler Fabrergé, “[if he had] loved hot rods and surfboards”.

The second entrancing trait is the empty stage-like quality of each form. Though tiny, they somehow radiate the feeling of a Broadway stage before an actor arrives, tense with anticipation and a million possibilities. The effect is the viewer’s own imagination filling that “stage”, daydreaming into the depths of wonder and curiosity.

Ron Nagle Sculpture

Shadow Knocker, 2021

The titles are worth noting. Nagle also has a talent for creating maximum wonder with limited words in his titles, too, from “Shadow Knocker” to “The Whisperer”.

Ron Nagle Sculpture

Smart as a Whippet, 2021

Ron Nagle Sculpture

The Whisperer, 2021

Ron Nagle Sculpture

WPLJ (White Port & Lemon Juice), 2021

Nagle’s work is something that you watch more than you see. The forms feel like they could move at any moment if you just watch longer.

I highly recommend checking out the gallery’s online viewing page to view more works, detail images, and a short video of Nagle in his studio. If you’re in New York, visit the Matthew Marks Gallery through October 23rd and spend more time than you planned.

Ron Nagle installation at Matthew Marks Gallery

Installation view of Ron Nagle: Necessary Obstacles, September 2021 at Matthew Marks Gallery, 523 West 24th Street

Ron Nagle installation at Matthew Marks Gallery

Installation view of Ron Nagle: Necessary Obstacles, September 2021 at Matthew Marks Gallery, 523 West 24th Street

What: Ron Nagle: Necessary Obstacles
Where: Matthew Marks Gallery, 523 W 24th St, New York, New York
When: September 11 – October 23, 2021

All images courtesy of the artist & Matthew Marks Gallery, New York.

David Behringer visits over 200 galleries every month to uncover and share the most exciting contemporary art in New York today. Subscribe to his exclusive weekly newsletter at www.thetwopercent.com and learn about his private gallery tours. And be sure to check out his YouTube.