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Nathan Lynch

Nathan Lynch: Truthiness

An installation of ceramic sculptures by Nathan Lynch sets a stage for performances about varying viewpoints in a Post-Truth Era.

Oct 3, 2020 - Jan 17, 2021

The sculptor and performance artist Nathan Lynch shapes objects and situations that are focused on formal qualities of sculpture, as well as satirical and philosophical observations about human nature. As the only artist to study with both abstract ceramic sculptors Kenneth Price and Ron Nagle, Lynch’s practice challenges the boundaries of material and thought—both in scale and activation. This is the first museum exhibition of the artist’s work in over 15 years.

In Truthiness, Lynch’s installation of handmade ceramic sculptures foster awkward, semi-public interactions between individuals, highlighting a shared experience of vulnerability. The abstract sculptures obscure the boundary between fact and fiction, presenting a physical metaphor to contradictory messages shared through the media about current political events. The forms appear malleable, almost shifting, and refer to the confusion created by the elastic nature of truth in contemporary American culture.

The exhibition is accompanied by a variety show with storytellers, singer/songwriters, comedians, and political scientists who create new works based on the same prompt in order to further consider the range in which truth can exist. The subject of veracity is explored through both the physical forms of the sculptures and the performative interpretations of current events. Whether based on form or fact, subjectivity and perception play a role in shaping reality by transforming information based on the position of the observer. In this exhibition, truth becomes a malleable material, like clay, revealing the elastic-quality of reality within our present history.

Organized by the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art. Curated by Lauren R. O’Connell, assistant curator. The exhibition and performances will take place leading up to, during, and after the 2020 election.

Nathan Lynch is the Chair of Ceramics and Glass, and Associate Professor of Ceramics, Fine Arts, and Interdisciplinary Studies at the California College of the Arts in Oakland and San Francisco. Lynch received a MFA from Mills College in Oakland, California, where he studied under Ron Nagle, and a BFA from the University of Southern California, where he studied under Kenneth Price. His work has been exhibited at institutions including Museum of Contemporary Art, Santa Rosa, CA; Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco; American Museum of Ceramic Art, Pomona, CA; Headlands Center for the Arts, Sausalito, CA; and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco; as well as alternative spaces and galleries such as Southern Exposure, Rena Bransten Gallery, Curiosity Shoppe, Root Division Gallery, all in San Francisco; Johansson Projects, Oakland, CA; and Traywick Contemporary, Berkeley, CA. He is represented by Rena Bransten Gallery, San Francisco.

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