Works Exhibited

About

I typically feel that good artworks are violent against the architecture that holds them.
—Nate Lowman

Nate Lowman collects and transforms the detritus of contemporary American life, reevaluating familiar signs and symbols. His alkyd paintings recall both blurred, photocopied images and fresh, inky tattoos, while his shaped canvases, text works, and screen prints transform smiley faces, bullet holes, word games, celebrities, and historical events into uncanny hieroglyphs for the present moment.

Lowman was born in Las Vegas and grew up in Idyllwild, California. When he was fifteen, he visited New York to see a Cy Twombly exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art. While there, he attended a poetry reading at St. Mark’s Church, where Patti Smith emerged from the audience and sang a few songs. He decided to move to New York, where he attended New York University from 1997 to 2001 and worked on weekends (and eventually full-time) as a security guard at Dia Center for the Arts (now Dia:Chelsea).

Since the early 2000s Lowman has used alkyd, a dense, shiny paint that he applies in thick dots into the surface of the canvas, mimicking the process of creating a tattoo. The resulting images echo the blurring that occurs when an image is repeatedly photocopied, common in DIY posters and zines. Alongside these works, Lowman created shaped canvases, depicting crossed-out smiley faces, doodled hearts and flowers, car air fresheners, and bullet holes. Several bullet-hole works were included in Lowman’s first solo show, The End. And Other American Pastimes, presented at Maccarone in 2005. The exhibition also featured found images from newspapers, signs, and ads that attested to Lowman’s fascination with youth, innuendo, masculinity, and violence.

Lowman’s practice varies widely: he has exhibited cars and gas pumps, incorporated found objects and signs, and hung his works salon-style, filling gallery walls with canvases of various shapes and sizes. For his exhibition at Midway Contemporary Art, Minneapolis, in 2006, Lowman provided artists Dan Colen, Adam McEwen, Josh Smith, Agathe Snow, John Tremblay, and Aaron Young with rejected bullet-hole canvases and asked that they use them to create new works. Applying the tactics of advertising and endorsement to the post-1990s art world, Lowman then paired each of the artists’ works with his own promotional add-ons, including newspaper photocopies and hand-painted texts, providing a critical commentary on celebrity culture and collaboration. After participating in several group shows from 2006 to 2009, Lowman began a series of paintings inspired by Willem de Kooning’s 1954 series Marilyn Monroe, reinterpreting de Kooning’s style and subject using the colors of 1980s surfboards. These were included in I Wanted to be an Artist but all I got was this Lousy Career (2012–13), a solo exhibition at the Brant Foundation Art Study Center, Greenwich, Connecticut. For this show, Lowman created a room-sized installation titled Four Seasons (2009–12) in which he represented each season with various images taken from the news and tabloids.

Lowman’s work, while it incorporates elements of Pop, appropriation, and assemblage, is deeply political in its intentions, never allowing an image to become neutralized by its context. His sculpture The Never Ending Story (2007), comprising rusted gas pumps, serves as a metaphor for the war in Iraq, and his more recent paintings deal with climate change, depicting radar images of Hurricanes Maria, Irma, and Harvey. In 2013 Lowman began his Maps series. Expanding on the earlier shaped canvases, the Maps examine the arbitrariness of borders, merging erratic splatters and stains with allusions to American quilt-making and Pop art.

A portrait of Nate Lowman
Photo: Rachel Chandler
The Art of the Olympics: An Interview with Yasmin Meichtry

The Art of the Olympics: An Interview with Yasmin Meichtry

The Olympic and Paralympic Games arrive in Paris on July 26. Ahead of this momentous occasion, Yasmin Meichtry, associate director at the Olympic Foundation for Culture and Heritage, Lausanne, Switzerland, meets with Gagosian senior director Serena Cattaneo Adorno to discuss the Olympic Games’ long engagement with artists and culture, including the Olympic Museum, commissions, and the collaborative two-part exhibition, The Art of the Olympics, being staged this summer at Gagosian, Paris.

Gagosian Quarterly Summer 2024

Now available
Gagosian Quarterly Summer 2024

The Summer 2024 issue of Gagosian Quarterly is now available, featuring a detail of Roy Lichtenstein’s Bauhaus Stairway Mural (1989) on the cover.

Brooke Holmes, Katarina Jerinic, and Lissa McClure on Francesca Woodman

In Conversation
Brooke Holmes, Katarina Jerinic, and Lissa McClure on Francesca Woodman

Join Brooke Holmes, professor of Classics at Princeton University, and Lissa McClure and Katarina Jerinic, executive director and collections curator, respectively, at the Woodman Family Foundation as they discuss Francesca Woodman’s preoccupation with classical themes and archetypes, her exploration of the body as sculpture, and her development of photography’s capacity to invest representation with allegory and metaphor.

Christo: Wrapped 1961 Volkswagen Beetle Saloon (1963–2014)

Christo: Wrapped 1961 Volkswagen Beetle Saloon (1963–2014)

Join Vladimir Yavachev, director of operations for the Christo and Jeanne-Claude Foundation, as he discusses the genesis of the artist’s work Wrapped 1961 Volkswagen Beetle Saloon (1963–2014), which Gagosian presented at Art Basel Unlimited 2024.

Oscar Murillo and Alessandro Rabottini

In Conversation
Oscar Murillo and Alessandro Rabottini

In conjunction with Marks and Whispers, at Gagosian, Rome, Oscar Murillo and Alessandro Rabottini sit down to discuss the artist’s paintings and works on paper in the exhibition, as well as how the show emphasizes the formal, political, and social dimensions of the color red in Murillo’s work of the last decade.

Nan Goldin: Sisters, Saints, Sibyls

Nan Goldin: Sisters, Saints, Sibyls

Michael Cary explores the history behind, and power within, Nan Goldin’s video triptych Sisters, Saints, Sibyls. The work will be on view at the former Welsh chapel at 83 Charing Cross Road, London, as part of Gagosian Open, from May 30 to June 23, 2024.

Wayne McGregor

Wayne McGregor

Alice Godwin speaks with the choreographer about his inspirations from literature, visual art, music, and more.

That Carousel of Thought: Lonnie Holley

That Carousel of Thought: Lonnie Holley

Lonnie Holley’s self-taught musical and artistic practice utilizes a strategy of salvage to recontextualize his past lives. His new album, Oh Me Oh My, is the latest rearticulation of this biography.

Inconsolata: Jordi Savall

Inconsolata: Jordi Savall

Ariana Reines caught a plane to Barcelona earlier this year to see A Sea of Music 1492–1880, a concert conducted by the Spanish viola da gambist Jordi Savall. Here, she meditates on the power of this musical pilgrimage and the humanity of Savall’s work in the dissemination of early music.

Hold a World: Lucinda Chua

Hold a World: Lucinda Chua

Multi-instrumentalist, singer, songwriter, and composer Lucinda Chua meets with writer Dhruva Balram to reflect on the response to her debut album YIAN (2023).

Maurizio Cattelan: Sunday Painter

Maurizio Cattelan: Sunday Painter

Curated by Francesco Bonami, Sunday is the first solo presentation of new work by Maurizio Cattelan in New York in over twenty years. Here, Bonami asks us to consider Cattelan as a political artist, detailing the potent and clear observations at the core of these works.

BRONX BODEGA Basel

BRONX BODEGA Basel

On the occasion of Art Basel 2024, creative agency Villa Nomad joins forces with Ghetto Gastro, the Bronx-born culinary collective by Jon Gray, Pierre Serrao, and Lester Walker, to stage the interdisciplinary pop-up BRONX BODEGA Basel. The initiative brings together food, art, design, and a series of live events at the Novartis Campus, Basel, during the course of the fair. Here, Jon Gray from Ghetto Gastro and Sarah Quan from Villa Nomad tell the Quarterly’s Wyatt Allgeier about the project.

Cover of the Fall 2018 issue of Gagosian Quarterly magazine, featuring artwork by Nate Lowman

Gagosian Quarterly: Fall 2018 Issue

$20
Cover of the book Bill Powers: Interviews with Artists

Bill Powers: Interviews with Artists

$24