Event InformationWhen: Wed, October 3, 2018 | 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM PDT
Where: The Reef / LA Mart, 1933 South Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90007
Opening Reception: 6:00pm
This conversation is free and open to the public.
Dona Nelson is an American abstract painter known for her work on two-sided paintings. In 2014, Roberta Smith of the New York Times called her "one of the best artists working today". She lives in Lansdale, Pennsylvania, and is represented by Thomas Erben Gallery, New York. She is a professor of painting and drawing at the Tyler School of Art at Temple University.
Born in Grand Island, Nebraska, Nelson moved to New York City in 1967 to participate in the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program and earned her BFA from Ohio State University in 1968. Nelson received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1994.
Nelson works with acrylic paint on unprimed canvas employing a variety of methods: direct brushwork, pours, acrylic-soaked cheesecloth, forcing paint through the surface with a high-pressure hose, and more in an effort to avoid an "autobiographic mark." She has engaged extensively with two-sided paintings, work that the New York Times described as "the opposite of zombie formalism — quite alive, distinct and infused with an adamant, difficult beauty". The Times's review of her 2014 solo show, Phigor, ends with an interrogation of her work and technique as painterly objects to be considered as thoughtfully crafted three-dimensional objects. Though her work used to include representational imagery, it is now exclusively abstract, and large scale. She often addresses Modernism's grid motif through the crossbeams of the painting's stretchers, sometimes stained but intact and other times removing them part of the way through her process, resulting in their negative spaces' ghosts in the painting.
Collections and Exhibitions:
Nelson has exhibited extensively nationally and internationally. Her work appeared in the 2014 Whitney Biennial, curated by Michelle Grabner, and her work has been collected by a number of institutions, including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts.