Nate Lowman - Contemporary Art Evening Sale London Wednesday, February 11, 2015 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Maccarone inc, New York

  • Exhibited

    New York, Maccarone inc, Nate Lowman: The End. And other American Pastimes, 6 November 2005 - 8 January 2006

  • Catalogue Essay

    ‘There is a vast amphitheatre of clichés that speak of the relationship between art and life, trash and treasure, love and hate. In some cases, to so simply present an object is the best way to represent it in order to challenge these platitudes. Other times it’s necessary to alter to original material in some way. It’s the treatment of the object that re-imagines the subject.’

    - NATE LOWMAN, 2014

    Once called one of ‘Warhol’s Children’ by New York Magazine, the art world’s resident rebel darling Nate Lowman produces Pop influenced neo-appropriationist works that critique American society. Through a fixation on ‘trash’ culture, Pop culture and historical traumas, Lowman’s irreverent no-nonsense attitude is credited with bringing a nonconformist downtown aesthetic to the height of the mainstream art world. Along with his friends and contemporaries of the so-called Bowery School, such as Dan Colen and the late Dash Snow, Lowman’s work continues to mix print media and graffiti with classical techniques and art historical references.

    Lowman offers excoriating analyses of the cults of the celebrity, print media, violence and gun culture in America. He returns to these themes through repeated metonymic images, from smiley faces to bullet holes, but follows no strict approach, using many mediums and modes in order to produce his work. Everything from found objects and images to spray paint, silkscreen, hair dye and leaves has been plastered onto his canvases.

    Rather than one of Warhol’s children Lowman is perhaps a grandchild, as his practice has developed out of and is more closely associated with that of Richard Prince and Cady Noland. Lowman considers the arch-appropriator Prince to be a mentor and a close friend, leading Jerry Saltz to situate Lowman’s work as ‘A cool school based on an older cool school.’ (Jerry Saltz, ‘Wasted Youth,’ New York Magazine, April 21, 2008). Lowman has said of Prince that ‘I admire him for the same reasons I admire all artists: uncompromising, relentless dedication to this visual means of communication.’ (Nate Lowman interviewed by Jennifer Lee, ‘You Suck at Irony,’ Filler, Volume 05 Issue 04, Winter 2014/2015). This dogged focus is precisely what drives Lowman, who is fascinated by language: his visceral works of art powerfully articulate the disintegrating structures of meaning between contemporary issues and aesthetics.

    Lowman's Pop inspired bullet holes highlight the cultural violence that he sees enacted upon America: he deconstructs the cartoonish glorification of guns, but also seeks to remind the viewer of their immediate reality. The dichotomy of the aestheticised image and the violence it references creates a tension that makes the dark side of the ‘American dream’ strikingly palpable. Lowman deploys his imagery – whether of public figures or seemingly more abstract renditions of brutality – with a keen eye for invocations of trauma, death and carnage, providing a unique and often grotesque assessment of America’s obsessions. ‘Lowman’s sublime is a horror at the hands of man.’ (Amy Walleston, ‘Lowman’s Selective Memory,Art in America, May 06, 2011).


Six Shooter

silkscreen ink on canvas
121.9 x 152.4 cm (48 x 60 in.)

£120,000 - 180,000 

Sold for £110,500

Contact Specialist
Peter Sumner
Head of Contemporary Art, London
+44 207 318 4063

Contemporary Art Evening Sale

London Auction 12 February 2015 7pm