Richard Nonas (January 3, 1936 – May 11, 2021) was an American anthropologist and post-minimalist sculptor. He lived and worked in New York City.[1][2]

Richard Nonas
Richard Nonas in 2010
Born(1936-01-03)January 3, 1936
DiedMay 11, 2021(2021-05-11) (aged 85)
Known forMinimalist art, Sculpture, Installation art
AwardsGuggenheim Fellowship, 1974
Richard Nonas, 55 meter long double-line of double-boulders (1997) Umedalen Sculpture Park
Richard Nonas, Bone Chaser, Linz, Austria

Education edit

Nonas was educated in literature and anthropology at University of Michigan, Lafayette College, Columbia University, and the University of North Carolina.[3] He followed this with field-work studies on Native American sites in Northern Ontario, Canada, and in Northern Mexico and Southern Arizona before becoming a sculptor.[4]

Work edit

Nonas' Post-minimalist sculptural practice addressed notions of space, place, and deep time.[5] His work from the 1970s involves experimentation with modes of presentation as well as material experimentation in which he used granite curbstones, linear wooden beams, and other raw materials. This work has been described as "talismanic objects" that create impressions of spiritual, emotional, and philosophical notions and meanings.[5]

Nonas' oeuvre is known for modular sculptural installations, primarily in stone or wood, in interior and exterior settings.[6][7] Carter Ratcliff wrote that "we cannot grasp a Nonas sculpture simply by thinking about it. His works call for intuitive, empathetic responses."[8]

His work has been compared to that of Richard Serra, Joel Shapiro, and Dorothea Rockburne.[6] His work has been exhibited internationally. He created a 300-foot-long installation in the U.S. at MassMoca in a one-person exhibition, Richard Nonas: The Man in the Empty Space.[9][10] His work was featured in the 1973 Whitney Biennial.[11] Courtney Fiske has written that Nonas treated "space as a material", in that each work is intended to be a "blunt insertion into the viewer's surrounds. His approach to minimalism not only includes serialiity, but also maintain a sense of self-containment and timelessness."[12] Joyce Beckenstein writing for the magazine Sculpture, described Nonas' studio as a "Wunderkammer piled high with artifacts and relics as well as past and in-progress works....with the unexpected surprises of an archaeological dig."[13]

Nonas stated that his travels impacted on his artistic practice, "What I realized in Mexico was that there are physical places, spaces deeply imbued with human meaning, that can have a great deal of power over us, places that affect us in an extremely worldly way." He described his sculptures as ways to define his own "existent reality, the reality I try to describe to you.[5]

Exhibitions edit

Nonas exhibited his work widely throughout the world, including shows in the U.S. at MoMA PS1, Museum of the Art Institute of Chicago, MASS MoCA, Walker Art Museum, among many others.[5] Internationally, his work has been shown at Documenta 6, Kassel, Germany; the Musée d’art de Saint-Etienne, France; Musée d’Art Moderne et Contemporain, Geneva, Switzerland; Lund Museum of Art, Lund, Sweden; among other venues.[14]

Awards and honors edit

He was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation in 1974.[15]

Public artworks edit

Richard Nonas, Borås Surround, Borås, Sweden

Nonas produced permanent public art works for the Museum of Grenoble, Transi West (for 36 Albanians ...), 1994; the North Dakota Museum of Art, Granite. In the early 1990s the North Dakota Museum of Art commissioned Nonas to design a sculpture garden and specimen peony garden for the museum.[16] In 2012, at the abandoned village, Vière et les Moyennes Montagnes, Digne-les-Bains, France, he created a permanent installation.[3]

Collections edit

Nonas' work is included in the collections of the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota, the Metropolitan Museum, and the Whitney Museum of American Art among others.[17][18][19] His work is also included in the permanent collection of the Fondazione Ratti, Italy.[3]

Bibliography edit

  • 1998 Richard Nonas 1970-1988, Art and Architecture Books of the Twentieth Century.
  • 1985 Kuspit, D. and Rosenzweig, P., Richard Nonas, Sculpture, Parts to anything, Nassau Country Museum of Fine Art, Roslyn Harbor, New York, 1985.

References edit

  1. ^ ArtNews obituary
  2. ^ Bacon, Alex (March 2013). "In Conversation: Richard Nonas with Alex Bacon". The Brooklyn Rail. Retrieved 30 December 2018.
  3. ^ "Eye of the Sixties - Judith Stein, Miles Bellamy, Mark di Suvero, Rosalyn Drexler, Alfred Leslie, Richard Nonas - An Art Book Series Event". New York Public Library. Retrieved 30 December 2018.
  4. ^ a b c d Selvin, Claire (12 May 2021). "Richard Nonas, Experimental Sculptor Who Pushed the Medium to New Frontiers, Has Died at 85". ARTnews. Retrieved 12 May 2021.
  5. ^ a b Levin, Kim (3 November 2014). "Richard Nonas at Fergus McCaffrey". ARTnews. Retrieved 30 December 2018.
  6. ^ Mosoff, Julie (25 September 2014). "On Display: Richard Nonas". Du Jour. Retrieved 30 December 2018.
  7. ^ Ratcliff, Carter (7 July 2018). "Seeing Ourselves in Sculpture". Hyperallergic. Retrieved 30 December 2018.
  8. ^ Kors, Stacey (21 February 2016). "Sculptor Richard Nonas mingles nature, culture at Mass MoCA". Boston Globe. Retrieved 30 December 2018.
  9. ^ "Richard Nonas: The Man in the Empty Space". Mass MoCA. 14 November 2015. Retrieved 30 December 2018.
  10. ^ 1973 Whitney Biennial Exhibition. New York: Whitney Museum of American Art. 1973. p. 14. Retrieved 30 December 2018.
  11. ^ Fiske, Courtney (November 29, 2014). "Reviews: Richard Nonas, Fergus McCafferty Gallery, New York". Art in America. Retrieved 18 June 2019.
  12. ^ Beckenstein, Joyce (November 2017). "A Conversation with Richard Nonas: Telling it Slant". Sculpture Magazine. 36 (9). Retrieved 18 June 2019.
  13. ^ "Richard Nonas: The Man in the Empty Space". MASS MoCA. 18 January 2016. Retrieved 12 May 2021.
  14. ^ "Richard Nonas". Fellows. John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.
  15. ^ "Sculpture Garden: Richard Nonas - Granite". North Dakota Museum of Art. Retrieved 30 December 2018.
  16. ^ "Richard Nonas". Collection: Art & Artists. Walker Art Center. Retrieved 30 December 2018.
  17. ^ "Details from the Excavation of Wooster Street (Richard Nonas)". The MET: Collection. Metropolitan Museum. Retrieved 30 December 2018.
  18. ^ "Richard Nonas (1936-)". Collection. Whitney Museum of American Art. Retrieved 30 December 2018.