NATHAN PAUL RICE // masterpiece / good job / big shit

On view September 1–October 7, 2018
Opening reception Saturday, September 1 (5–7 p.m.)

For his debut exhibition at Nationale, Nathan Paul Rice presents Masterpiece / Good Job / Big Shit, a compendium of new drawings, paintings, sculptures, and the release of a self-published monograph. These works serve to bring attention to the spaces that exist between objects and their meanings. The title of the show derives from graffiti the artist encountered while traveling in Spain in 2010. In his own words, he explains that “a Masterpiece is tedious and final. A Good Job shows competence and work completed. Big Shit is an epic failure.” As a result, this blending of success, defeat, and hilarity into one artistic expression lends to a viewing experience that is both familiar and entirely unrecognizable. What Rice asks of his audience is that they move through his shapes and forms—which might at first glance appear quotidian—and see them with new eyes. 

If anything, what these three phrases have in common is their crucial link to the process of making. Rather than striving for masterpiece, Rice is more interested in how his craft moves between all three notions simultaneously, thus creating pieces that are crudely refined. Presenting collage, works on paper, and concrete sculptures, many of the same organic shapes appear repeated through the mediums. He discovers nuance and meaning in these repetitions, allowing the forms to shrink and grow and create a dialogue amongst themselves and in the shared space of the exhibition. With Masterpiece / Good Job / Big Shit, Rice allows the audience and himself to move through the intangible space between the objects, connecting, disrupting, and recontextualizing their inherent relationship and impact. Living in this space of in-between, one can expect to encounter a wide range of emotions, from mystery and sadness to security and humor. 

Nathan Paul Rice was born and raised in San Francisco and graduated from Lewis and Clark College in 2003 with a BA in fine art and sociology. His drawings, objects, and installations explore the space between art and design, play and peril, and humor and sadness. In 2018, he received his MFA in Applied Craft + Design, a collaborative program between Pacific Northwest College of Art and Oregon College of Art and Craft in Portland, Oregon.

 

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