Richard Nonas

Richard Nonas (born 1936) is an American anthropologist and post-minimalist sculptor. He lives and works in New York City.[1]

Richard Nonas
Born1936 (age 83–84)
Known forMinimalist art, Sculpture, Installation art
AwardsGuggenheim Fellowship, 1974
Umedalen Richard Nonas
Bone Chaser 02


Nonas was educated in literature and anthropology at University of Michigan, Lafayette College, Columbia University and the University of North Carolina.[2] 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.[3]


Nonas is known for modular sculptural installations, primarily in stone or wood, in interior and exterior settings.[4][5] Carter Ratcliff wrote that "we cannot grasp a Nonas sculpture simply by thinking about it. His works call for intuitive, empathetic responses."[6]

His work has been compared to Richard Serra, Joel Shapiro, and Dorothea Rockburne.[4] He has shown his work 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.[7][8] His work was featured in the 1973 Whitney Biennial.[9] Courtney Fiske has written that Nonas treats "space as a material", 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."[10] Joyce Beckenstein writing for Sculpture Magazine, describes 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.[11]

Awards and honorsEdit

He was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation in 1974.[12]

Public artworksEdit

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.[13] In 2012, at the abandoned village, Vière et les Moyennes Montagnes, Digne-les-Bains, France, he create a permanent installation.[2]


Nonas' work is included in the collection of the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN, the Metropolitan Museum and the Whitney Museum of American Art among others.[14][15][16] His work is also included in the permanent collection of the Fondazione Ratti, Italy.[2]


  • 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.


  1. ^ Bacon, Alex (March 2013). "In Conversation: Richard Nonas with Alex Bacon". The Brooklyn Rail. Retrieved 30 December 2018.
  2. ^ "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.
  3. ^ a b Levin, Kim. "Richard Nonas at Fergus McCaffrey". ArtNews. Retrieved 30 December 2018.
  4. ^ Mosoff, Julie. "On Display: Richard Nonas". Du Jour. Retrieved 30 December 2018.
  5. ^ Ratcliff, Carter. "Seeing Ourselves in Sculpture". Hyperallergic. Retrieved 30 December 2018.
  6. ^ Kors, Stacey (21 February 2016). "Sculptor Richard Nonas mingles nature, culture at Mass MoCA". Boston Globe. Retrieved 30 December 2018.
  7. ^ "Richard Nonas: The Man in the Empty Space". Mass MoCA. Retrieved 30 December 2018.
  8. ^ 1973 Whitney Biennial Exhibition. New York: Whitney Museum of American Art. 1973. p. 14. Retrieved 30 December 2018.
  9. ^ Fiske, Courtney (November 29, 2014). "ReviewsL Richard Nonas, Fergus McCafferty Gallery, New York". Art in America. Retrieved 18 June 2019.
  10. ^ Beckenstein, Joyce (November 2017). "A Conversation with Richard Nonas: Telling it Slant". Sculpture Magazine. 36 (9). Retrieved 18 June 2019.
  11. ^ "Richard Nonas". Fellows. John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.
  12. ^ "Sculpture Garden: Richard Nonas - Granite". North Dakota Museum of Art. Retrieved 30 December 2018.
  13. ^ "Richard Nonas". Collection: Art & Artists. Walker Art Center. Retrieved 30 December 2018.
  14. ^ "Details from the Excavation of Wooster Street (Richard Nonas)". The MET: Collection. Metropolitan Museum. Retrieved 30 December 2018.
  15. ^ "Richard Nonas (1936-)". Collection. Whitney Museum of American Art. Retrieved 30 December 2018.