Set in niches in the walls and plate-glass vitrines throughout the gallery, 35 abstract sculptures Ron Nagle produced between 1991 and 2015 stand poised for worshipful contemplation. The colorful, textural icons, almost all four by six inches, employ a variety of techniques, including slip-casting and hand-molding, as well as materials like glazed ceramic, polyurethane and epoxy. The West Coast artist’s works are radiant, playful and witty, though the joke itself is uncertain. In Quiet Wood (2015), for instance, skinny purple fingers poke through holes in a ceramic base. Orange polyurethane drips over the base, like a Nickelodeon kid’s show version of toxic waste. A selection of drawings and a group of bronze sculptures from Nagle’s “Hands On” series (1991) are also on view.
Pictured: Ron Nagle: Handsome Drifter, 2015, ceramic, glaze, catalyzed polyurethane, epoxy resin. 3 ¾ by 4 by 3 inches. © Ron Nagle. Courtesy Matthew Marks.