Nate Lowman: Before and After

Texts by Jim Lewis and Heidi Zuckerman

Taking humanity and popular culture as his subject matter, Nate Lowman approaches these themes as an active participant in the collective American experience. Underscoring this is desire: a longing for something or someone, or a wish for something to happen. The duality inherent in desire is contained in Lowman’s use of well-known images whose meanings are both instantly recognizable and constantly in flux. Appropriated, relatable images and language from American pop culture and its 24-hour news cycle form a narrative and tell part of the American story. Angels, poppies, hearts, pine-tree air fresheners, smiley faces, iconic celebrities, crosses and news articles—all presented through the lens of desire—confront viewers with the things of modern life that are often left unsaid and unexamined.

For more than a decade, Nate Lowman has produced paintings, sculptures, and (often salon-style) installations that process and represent the unfolding human experience in a visual environment of endlessly proliferating public media archives. Re-presenting and reframing techniques of image reproduction as painterly practice, Lowman constructs narratives condensed in layers of studio techniques, including printing, cropping, projecting, cutting, staining, repurposing, lacquering, stripping, and stretching. His paintings explore the capacity of images to mediate between the personal and the universal in cycles of decay and renewal.

Published on the occasion of the Aspen Art Museum’s exhibition of the New York–based artist, Nate Lowman is the first comprehensive monograph on the artist to date.


Publisher: Aspen Art Press

Artists: Nate Lowman

Publication Date: 2019

Binding: Staple bound

Dimensions: 7 1/2 x 10 1/4 in | 19.1 x 26 cm

Pages: 72

Reproductions: 84 color

ISBN: 9780934324816

Retail: $50 | £40

Status: Not Yet Published

Nate Lowman

The New York–based artist Nate Lowman (b. 1979) deftly mines mass-produced images culled from art history, the news, and popular media, transforming visual signifiers from these distinct sources into a diverse body of paintings, sculptures, collages, prints, and installations. Since the early 2000s, Lowman has continually pushed the boundaries of language and object making with works that are at turns political, humorous, and poetic. Through his art—which dynamically explores themes of representation, celebrity, obsession, and violence—Lowman stages an encounter with commonplace, universally recognizable motifs, questioning and revisiting their intended meanings while creating new narratives in the process.

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