Nate Lowman: Let's Go | David Zwirner
A detail of painting by Nate Lowman titled Irene dated 2021

Nate Lowman: Let’s Go

David Zwirner is pleased to present an exhibition of new paintings by Nate Lowman (b. 1979) at the gallery’s 533 West 19th Street location in New York. 

Lowman has become known for deftly mining images culled from art history, the news, and popular media, transforming visual signifiers from these distinct sources into a diverse body of paintings, sculptures, and installations. Since the early 2000s, the artist has continually pushed the boundaries of his multimedia approach with works that are at turns critical, humorous, political, and poetic. In his work, Lowman stages an encounter with commonplace, universally recognizable motifs, questioning and revisiting their intended meanings while creating new narratives in the process.

On view will be new large-scale paintings that depict “false color” satellite renderings of hurricanes which have struck the United States in recent decades with increasing frequency and devastation, continuing the artist’s ongoing interest in this imagery. The exhibition will also feature a selection of canvases that employ disparate mundane media and personal iconography from the artist’s wide-ranging visual archive. 

This will be Lowman’s first show in New York with the gallery since having announced representation of the artist in 2019; his first exhibition with David Zwirner was held that year at the gallery’s London location.

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Image: Nate Lowman, Irene, 2021 (detail)

 

Dates
March 10April 16, 2022
Artist
Installation view, Nate Lowman: Let’s Go, David Zwirner, New York, 2022
Installation view, Nate Lowman: Let’s Go, David Zwirner, New York, 2022
Installation view, Nate Lowman: Let’s Go, David Zwirner, New York, 2022

Let’s Go centers on Nate Lowman’s new series of large-scale, vibrantly saturated paintings that depicts “false color” satellite renderings of hurricanes which have struck the United States in recent decades with increasing frequency and devastation, continuing the artist’s ongoing interest in this imagery.

An oil and alkyd on linen artwork by Nate Lowman, titled Irma, dated 2021.

Nate Lowman

Irma, 2021
Oil and alkyd on linen
90 x 126 inches (228.6 x 320 cm)

Lowman examines the painterly possibilities afforded by their rendered, non-referential colors, devised to highlight variations in cloud temperature. Overlaid with black dotted and gestural markings akin to those from a blurred Xerox, these works play on the tensions between the technological and the painted image, representation and pure color.  

A detail of a painting by Nate Lowman titled Irma, dated 2021

Nate Lowman, Irma, 2021 (detail)

Nate Lowman, Irma, 2021 (detail)

A detail of a painting by Nate Lowman titled Irma, dated 2021
Nate Lowman, Irma, 2021 (detail)
Nate Lowman, Irma, 2021 (detail)
An oil and alkyd on linen painting by Nate Lowman, titled Maria, dated 2022.

Nate Lowman

Maria, 2022
Oil and alkyd on linen
90 x 126 inches (228.6 x 320 cm)

While scientific and technological, these images ultimately function in the public media as abstract, iconographic stand-ins for the violence and devastation they predict—universally recognized and understood, despite their formless inaccuracy as representations of real events.

A photograph of Nate Lowmans studio

Inside the artist’s studio.

Inside the artist’s studio.

Like the exhibition’s title, Let’s Go—suggesting at once a warning, a provocation, an enthusiastic cheer from the sidelines, and an unraveling—Lowman’s multivalent works complicate representation and meaning, ambiguously hinging at the edge of disaster and the sublime, abstraction and representation.

An oil and alkyd on linen artwork by Nate Lowman, titled Irene, dated 2021.

Nate Lowman

Irene, 2021
Oil and alkyd on linen
90 x 126 inches (228.6 x 320 cm)
Installation view, Nate Lowman: Let’s Go, David Zwirner, New York, 2022

Installation view, Nate Lowman: Let’s Go, David Zwirner, New York, 2022

Installation view, Nate Lowman: Let’s Go, David Zwirner, New York, 2022

“I’m not a news reporter; my painting isn’t journalism. My interest comes later, not during the initial interpretation and digestion of an event.

When I paint an image from a photo, whatever it is—whether it’s obscure or recognizable—the translation of going from photograph to painting is just as important as why I’m interested in the image. What’s the photo about? What’s the context? How has it changed? In that translation, lots of things happen: the rendering, the exchange of color, light, and all these things in the media.”

 

—Nate Lowman

An oil and alkyd on linen artwork by Nate Lowman, titled Ida, dated 2022.

Nate Lowman

Ida, 2022
Oil and alkyd on linen
90 x 126 inches (228.6 x 320 cm)

Destructive natural disasters not only highlight the effects of climate change, but also reveal the deeply rooted economic and racial disparities of those affected. Lowman worked on this series in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which revealed similar inequities of the country and the lack of adequate governmental response.

An oil and alkyd on linen painting by Nate Lowman, titled Irma, dated 2022.

Nate Lowman

Irma, 2022
Oil and alkyd on linen
90 x 126 inches (228.6 x 320 cm)
A detail of a painting by Nate Lowman titled Irma, dated 2022

Nate Lowman, Irma, 2022 (detail)

Nate Lowman, Irma, 2022 (detail)

A detail of a painting by Nate Lowman titled Irma, dated 2022
Nate Lowman, Irma, 2022 (detail)
Nate Lowman, Irma, 2022 (detail)
A detail of a painting by Nate Lowman titled Irma, dated 2022
Nate Lowman, Irma, 2022 (detail)
Nate Lowman, Irma, 2022 (detail)

These works engage in a dialogue with art-historical precedents and influences that range from American pop art and appropriation to color field painting. Taking inspiration from the color field painter Paul Feeley’s unconstrained abstraction, Lowman applied the techniques of staining and saturation to his canvases to transform digital satellite imagery into painting.

A painting by Paul Feeley, titled Melos, dated 1958

Paul Feeley, Melos, 1958. Courtesy the Estate of Paul Feeley and Garth Greenan Gallery, New York

Paul Feeley, Melos, 1958. Courtesy the Estate of Paul Feeley and Garth Greenan Gallery, New York

A detail of a painting by Paul Feeley, titled Melos, dated 1958

Paul Feeley, Melos, 1958 (detail). Courtesy the Estate of Paul Feeley and Garth Greenan Gallery, New York

Paul Feeley, Melos, 1958 (detail). Courtesy the Estate of Paul Feeley and Garth Greenan Gallery, New York

“Lowman’s work both acknowledges and revels in the increasing instability of culture, and the ongoing fragility of history and historical images. [It] underscores the simultaneous co-existence of multiple and often contradictory impulses, where the potential for any form of consolidation or resolution remains—at least for the moment—elusive.”

 

—Matthew Higgs, director and chief curator of White Columns

A painting by Nate Lowman titled Florence, dated 2022

Nate Lowman, Florence, 2022 (detail)

Nate Lowman, Florence, 2022 (detail)

A painting by Nate Lowman, titled Florence, dated 2022.

Nate Lowman

Florence, 2022
Oil and alkyd on linen
90 x 126 inches (228.6 x 320 cm)

“Lowman collapses distance, bringing home a culture that generally remains unimaginable because it is too omnipresent.” 

—David Rimanelli, Artforum

Installation view, Nate Lowman: Let’s Go, David Zwirner, New York, 2022
Installation view, Nate Lowman: Let’s Go, David Zwirner, New York, 2022
Installation view, Nate Lowman: Let’s Go, David Zwirner, New York, 2022

Excavating mass media imagery in a similar vein, one large-scale painting depicts an image of cars—lit and floating in water—during a recent flood in Yonkers, New York. Though snapped by a bystander, the image was widely circulated and consumed in the media, drawing the artist's interest.

An oil and alkyd on linen painting by Nate Lowman, titled Yonkers Sept. 1, 2021, dated 2022.

Nate Lowman

Yonkers Sept. 1, 2021, 2022
Oil and alkyd on linen
82 5/8 x 147 inches (209.9 x 373.4 cm)
A detail of a painting by Nat Lowman, titled Yonkers Sept. 1, 2021, dated 2022

Nate Lowman, Yonkers Sept. 1, 2021, 2022 (detail)

Nate Lowman, Yonkers Sept. 1, 2021, 2022 (detail)

In recounting the aftermath of a wreck, Lowman’s Yonkers Sept. 1, 2021 (2022) follows in the tradition of disaster paintings—such as the nineteenth-century painter Théodore Géricault’s The Raft of the Medusa (1818–1819)—while applying the techniques of the Italian Romantic painter Ippolito Caffi.

To produce the hazy, luminous quality of the painting, Lowman drew from Caffi’s Piazza San Marco con il Campanile nella nebbia (n.d.), which also prompted his painting Ciao Venezia (Ippolito Caffi) (2021).

A painting by Ippolito Caffi, titled Piazza San Marco con il Campanile nella nebbia, not dated

Ippolito Caffi, Piazza San Marco con il Campanile nella nebbia, n.d.

Ippolito Caffi, Piazza San Marco con il Campanile nella nebbia, n.d.

An installation shot of a Nate Lowman show in Aspen
Installation view, Nate Lowman: Before and After, Aspen Art Museum, 2017. Photo by Tony Prikryl
Installation view, Nate Lowman: Before and After, Aspen Art Museum, 2017. Photo by Tony Prikryl
An installation shot of a Nate Lowman show in Aspen

Installation view, Nate Lowman: Before and After, Aspen Art Museum, 2017. Photo by Tony Prikryl

Installation view, Nate Lowman: Before and After, Aspen Art Museum, 2017. Photo by Tony Prikryl

An installation shot of a Nate Lowman show in Aspen

Installation view, Nate Lowman: Before and After, Aspen Art Museum, 2017. Photo by Tony Prikryl

Installation view, Nate Lowman: Before and After, Aspen Art Museum, 2017. Photo by Tony Prikryl

An installation shot of a Nate Lowman show in Aspen

Installation view, Nate Lowman: America Sneezes, Dallas Contemporary, 2015

Installation view, Nate Lowman: America Sneezes, Dallas Contemporary, 2015

An oil and alkyd on linen painting by Nate Lowman, titled Sandy Poppy, dated 2022.

Nate Lowman

Sandy Poppy, 2022
Oil and alkyd on canvas on wood panel
59 1/2 x 61 3/4 inches (151.1 x 156.8 cm)
A detail of a painting by Nate Lowman, titled Sandy Poppy, dated 2022

Nate Lowman, Sandy Poppy, 2022 (detail)

Nate Lowman, Sandy Poppy, 2022 (detail)

A detail of a painting by Nate Lowman, titled Sandy Poppy, dated 2022
Nate Lowman, Sandy Poppy, 2022 (detail)
Nate Lowman, Sandy Poppy, 2022 (detail)

“Nate Lowman moves within the American art world, and consumer and media society more generally, continuously rearranging the visual signifiers he encounters. He gathers the raw materials in his art from the news, popular media and art history, and reconditions them through his own reading, thoughts and feelings.… He then lets these narratives flow, allowing one signifier to slip to another, creating a multiplicity of possibilities and a rich, open-ended story. It’s an art of selecting, curating, orchestrating, manipulating. Nate Lowman’s works mirror contemporary American society.” 

 

—Gunnar B. Kvaran, curator and former director of Astrup Fearnley Museet

Installation view of Nate Lowman, Let's Go, at David Zwirner Gallery

Installation view, Nate Lowman: Let’s Go, David Zwirner, New York, 2022

Installation view, Nate Lowman: Let’s Go, David Zwirner, New York, 2022

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