Nathan Prouty: Recent Work

Apr 1st - May 1st, 2011

Nathan Prouty received his BFA in ceramic sculpture from the New York State College of Ceramics in Alfred NY, and is currently a Resident Artist of The Clay Studio. Prouty will be leaving the program this August in pursuit of his MFA at Ohio University, Athens, OH. For such a young maker, Prouty possesses a highly personal voice with a visual iconography all his own.

The maturity of Prouty's work belies his young age, while at the same time revels in it. The work exudes an exuberance of youth, with his sculptures being toy-like, brightly colored, cartoon abstractions of forms one could swear they know. Referencing landscape, architecture and popular culture, the ambiguity of Prouty's sculptures amazes. He makes foreign things that are familiar to the viewer, who sees it in a fresh and original way. His sensitivity as a maker and as a master aesthetician is evident in every aspect of his work, from his material choices, to his forms and their texture/surface quality, to his palette, to the small scale in which he works. The intimacy of Prouty's sculptures is disarming.

As Prouty has developed this body of work, he has begun to develop a vocabulary of surface and form. There are favorites the artist used multiple times in his sculptures (though varied in scale, color and surface), which he is now using two-dimensionally as well. In his new series of tableware, Prouty mirrors the shape or form of some of the individual components of his work, oftentimes mirroring the textural surface and palette as well using decals on commercially manufactured porcelain plates, cups and saucers. He has also produced a series of water colors. Prouty is as successful with these s as he is with his sculptures in creating evocative and ambiguous works and surface imagery that fully engage, challenge, and delight.