Past Exhibition

  • Nate Lowman

I Wanted to Be an Artist but All I Got Was This Lousy Career

Greenwich September 12th to March 3rd, 2013



The  Brant  Foundation  is  pleased  to  announce  I Wanted to be an Artist but all I got was this Lousy Career,  an exhibition  of  works  by  Nate  Lowman. The  exhibition   will   feature   recent   and   new   work   including   paintings, collage and sculpture and continues through March  2013.

Dusted  with  mythological  fear,  loathing,  and  spiritual  desertification,  Nate  Lowman’s   work  cuts  up  and  reassembles  the  movies,  the  street,  history,  and  the  news.  From  a   bank  teller  window  shot  through  with  bullets,  to  black  crucifixes  modeled  on  New   York  City  tow  truck  equipment,  to  blonde,  spectral  Marilyn,  scarred  and  bloodied  by   de  Kooning’s  violent  brushstrokes,  Lowman  gravitates  toward  crimes,  absurdities,   slip-ups,  tragedies,  travesties,  laughing  stocks,  write-offs,  and  disasters.  “People  treat   images  the  same  way  that  they  treat  vacation,”  he  says.  “I’m  trying  not  to  be  a  tourist   all  the  time  –  or  at  least  not  concerning  the  interpretation  of  information.”

Functioning  like  “membranes”  –  as  Sherrie  Levine  once  described  her  own  works   made  from  appropriated  images  –  “permeable  from  both  sides  so  there  is  an  easy   flow  between  the  past  and  the  future,  between  my  history  and  yours,”*  Lowman’s   work  weaves  public  history  with  personal  memory,  with  the  result  that  we  feel  a   strange  familiarity  in  looking  over  his  bikini  postcards,  magazine  clippings,  bumper   stickers,   bullethole   decals,   car   air   freshener   trees,   and   smiley   faces,   as   if   being   reminded  of  something  we  already  know.

Spread  in  alkyd  dots  across  a  canvas,  torn  from  a  tabloid,  found  on  the  sidewalk,   pasted   to  the   fridge,   buried   in   a   shoebox:   in   Lowman’s   artistic   system,   available   images  and  the  messages  they  contain  are  reprogrammed  as  expressive  tools  and   keyed  into  art  history.  His  technique  involves  themes  and  indexes  –  chairs,  people   pointing  at  or  holding  things,  swiss  cheese  –  he  has  a  taste  for  the  derelict  –  battered   and   broken  doors   from   the  refuse   heap,   flattened  aluminum   cans,   chewing  gum,   rusted  gas  pumps  like  those  at  abandoned  gas  stations,  passed  at  high  speed  on   obsolescent  highways  –  and  he  mingles  these  souvenirs  of  the  recently  bygone  with   signs  that  the  end  is  near  –  ripe  crops  covered  in  snow,  x-rayed  truckfuls  of  human   traffic,  flooded  suburbs,  a  smiling  ice  cream  cone  announcing  I’ll  Be  Dead  Soon.  

In  the  room-size  installation  Four  Seasons  (2009-2012)  –  the  baroque  theme  also   visited  by  Cy  Twombly,  Richard  Prince,  and  Gerhard  Richter  –  each  season  takes  on   the  qualities  of  a  verb  rather  than  a  noun.  Wintering,  Springing,  Summering,  and   Falling:  Jamie  Foxx   wields   his  image-damaging  Swastika   boogie  board   in  Hawaii;   snow  falls  at  Ski  Dubai,  the  winter  resort  built  into  a  shopping  mall  in  the  United Arab  Emirates;  a  man  drops  from  the  WTC’s  crumbling  North  tower;  Tonya  Harding   stumbles   on   the   Olympic   ice;   Jenna   Bush   wipes   out   drunk   on   the   pages   of   the   National  Enquirer;  workers  in  Cancun  picket  for  fair  wages,  throwing  a  wrench  in   spring  break.  

With  guilt,  innocence,  and  meanings  always  in  flux,  Lowman  prefers  to  focus  on  the   language  of  images  themselves,  and  how  to  treat  them  like  the  living  things  they  are.   The  parade  of  criminals  and  victims  circulated  in  the  Associated  Press  photos  –  OJ   Simpson,  John  Walker  Lindh,  Oliver  North,  Lindsay  Lohan,  Nicole  Brown  Simpson,   Amadou  Diallo  –  are  inevitably  shifting,  and  to  watch  them  rise  and  fall,  like  tracking   a  storm,  or  watching  paint  dry,  is  to  hope  for  the  end  to  come  so  that  you  can  be  here   to  see  it.  

Also  on  view  in  The  Brant  Foundation  Art  Study  Center  library  will  be  a  selection  of   chairs  and  artworks  from  Mr.  Brant  and  Lowman’s  personal  collections.  Featuring   artists   Andrew   Kuo,   Josh   Smith,   Dash   Snow,   Leo   Fitzpatrick,   Joe   Bradley,   Paul   McCarthy,  Ray  Johnson,  Lizzi  Bougatsos,  Dan  Colen  and  Hanna  Liden  among  others.  

Programs and Events:

Nate Lowman Exhibition Opening 

Nate Lowman Exhibition Catalogue

Nate Lowman Exhibition Announcement

The Brant Foundation Lecture Series: Artists and Their Sphere of Influence


Artist Biography

Nate Lowman

Nate Lowman

Visit Artist’s Website

Nate Lowman was born in Las Vegas in 1979.
Lowman lives and works in New York City, NY.

Since his first solo show “THE END. And Other American Pastimes” at Maccarone, New York, in 2005, he has exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the Whitney Museum of American Art, Palais de Tokyo, Paris, and Palazzo Grassi, Venice. He has had four institutional one-person shows – “Axis of Praxis” (2006, Midway Contemporary Art, Minneapolis, MN), “The Natriot Act” (2009, Astrup Fearnley Museum, Oslo), “I Wanted To Be An Artist But All I Got Was This Lousy Career” (2012, Brant Foundation Art Study Center, Greenwich, CT), and “America Sneezes” (2015, Dallas Contemporary, Dallas, TX) – and continues to exhibit frequently in the US and abroad.

The Brant Foundation Loan Program: Nate Lowman – Before and After




“54 Franklin / 114 Westville,” with Don Fleming, The National Exemplar, New York / “Nate Lowman,” Maccarone, Los Angeles / “World of Interiors,” FRAC Champagne-Ardenne, Reims / “Downtown Is A Construct,” Massimo de Carlo, London


“America Sneezes,” Dallas Contemporary, Dallas“Stock-Props,” with Keith Sonnier, The National Exemplar, NYC


“Weeping Atlas Cedar,” Massimo de Carlo, London“Rave The Painforest,” Maccarone, NYC


“Art Relax”, in collaboration with Leo Fitzpatrick, Karma, Amagansett, NY


“Cats and Dogs”, with Hanna Liden, Carlson Gallery, London“Swiss Cheese and The Doors”, Massimo de Carlo, Milan“The Triumph Arch”, with Hanna Liden, 5 Rue de Tilsitt, Paris“I Wanted To Be An Artist But All I Got Was This Lousy Career”, Brant Foundation Art Study Center, Greenwich, CT


“Bed Bugs” with Rob Pruitt, Gavin Brown’s Enterprise, NYC“Trash Landing”, Maccarone/Gavin Brown’s Enterprise, NYC“Love Roses”, works in collaboration with Dan Colen, The National Exemplar, NYC“Three Amigos: Gift Ghost GAP”, The American Academy, Rome (“Three Amigos”, with Dan Colen at Palazzo Rospiglisi and Dash Snow at MACRO Rome)“30 Million Dollar Smile” mural, Triple A, Los Angeles


“Fill You With Holes”, Carlson Gallery, London“Come As You Are Again” with Hanna Liden, Salon 94, NYC“Karla Black and Nate Lowman”, Andrea Rosen Gallery, NYC


“The Natriot Act”, Astrup Fearnley Museum, Oslo“Nate Lowman”, The Hydra Workshop, Hydra, Greece“A Dog From Every County”, Maccarone, NYC


“Wet Pain”, in collaboration with Dan Colen, Maccarone, NYC“Wet Pain”, in collaboration with Dan Colen, A Palazzo, Brescia, Italy


“Axis of Praxis”, Midway Contemporary Art Center, Minneapolis


“THE END. And Other American Pastimes.” Maccarone, NYC



“These Days; Leaves of Grass,” curated by Michael St. John, Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York

“Fields of War,” Massimo de Carlo, London, UK

“Outside,” curated by Matthew Higgs, Karma, Amagansett, NY

“Mount Analog,” curated by Neville Wakefield, Aspen, CO

“Fresh Cuts,” curated by Agathe Snow, Eric Firestone Gallery, East Hampton, NY

“Shrines to Speed,” Leila Heller Gallery, New York


“The Now Forever,” Basilica Hudson, Hudson

“Marlborough Lights,” Marlborough Broome Street, New York

“Sprayed,” Gagosian Britannia Street, London

“Storylines: Contemporary Art at the Guggenheim,” Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York

“#RAWHIDE,” Venus Over Manhattan, New York

“Love for Three Oranges,” Karma at Gladstone Gallery, Brussels

“Second Chances,” Aspen Art Museum, Aspen


“Empire of Light”, Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice

“Three Blind Mice”, with Dan Colen and Rob Pruitt, Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens, Belgium


“12e Biennale de Lyon”, La Sucriere, Lyon, France

“The White Album”, Louis B. James Gallery, NYC

“Passive Aggressive”, Massimo de Carlo, Milan

“Painting in Place”, Los Angeles Nomadic Division (LAND), Farmers & Merchants Bank, Los Angeles

“Empire State: New York Art Now”, Palazzo Delle Esposizioni, Rome and Thaddeus Ropac, Paris

“DSM-V”, curated by David Rimanelli, Vito Schnabel, The Future Moynihan Station, NYC

“Pizza Time”, Marlborough Gallery, NYC

“The Show Is Over”, Gagosian Gallery, London

“Double Hamburger Deluxe”, Marlborough Chelsea, NYC


“Alone Together”, Rubell Family Collection, Miami, FL

“To Be With Art Is All We Ask”, Astrup Fearnley Museum, Oslo

“We The People”, curated by Alison Gingeras and Jonathan Horowitz, Robert Rauschenberg Foundation Project Space, NYC

“Holy Crap!”, curated by Michele Maccarone, The Fireplace Project, Springs, NY

“Do Your Thing”, curated by Rub N Tug, White Columns, NYC

“(O)IKEA”, Hydra Schools Project, Hydra, Greece


“Are You Glad to be in America?”, Massimo de Carlo, Milan

“New York Minute”, curated by Kathy Grayson, Garage Center, Moscow

“Post 9-11”, OHWOW, Los Angeles

“Ray’s A Laugh”, Half Gallery, NYC

“New Age End of the World”, Taxter & Spengemann, NYC

“George Herms: Xenophilia (Love of the Unknown)”, MOCA, Los Angeles

“The Luminous Interval: The D. Daskalopoulos Collection”, Guggenheim Bilbao, Spain

“In the Name of the Artists – American Contemporary Art from the Astrup Fearnley Collection”, Bienal Pavilion, Bienal de Sao Paulo, Brazil

“Karma”, White Flag Projects, St. Louis, Missouri


“The Last Newspaper”, The New Museum, NYC

“RE-DRESSING”, Bortolami Gallery, NYC

“FRESH HELL”, Palais de Tokyo, Paris

“Off the Wall Part 1: Thirty Performative Actions”, Whitney Museum of American Art, NYC

“A.D.D. Attention Deficit Disorder”, Palazzo Lucarini Contemporary di Trevi, Italy

“Haunted: Contemporary Photography/Video/Performance”, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, NYC


“Beg, Borrow, Steal”, Rubell Family Collection, Miami

“Besides, With, Against and Yet: Abstraction and the Ready-Made Gesture”, The Kitchen, NYC

“New York Minute”, curated by Kathy Grayson, MACRO, Rome

“When the Mood Strikes: The Cooreman Collection”, Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens, Belgium

“Mapping the Studio: Artists from the François Pinault Collection”, curated by Alison Gingeras and Francesco Bonami, Palazzo Grassi, Venice

“Wall & Floor”, Galerie Almine Rech, Paris


“Expenditure”, Busan Biennale, Korea

“The Unforgiven” Stellan Holm Gallery, NYC

“Nate Lowman / Agathe Snow / Aaron Young”, United Artists LTD, Marfa, Texas

“Meet Me Around the Corner – Works from the Astrup Fearnley Collection” Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art, Oslo

“Unmonumental”, The New Museum, NYC

“Murder Letters”, Galeria Filomena Soares, Lisbon, Portugal


“Pop Art Is…”, Gagosian Gallery, London

“Beyond the Zero”, Peres Projects, Athens

“Sweet Bird of Youth”, Arndt + Partner Berlin, curated by Hedi Slimane

“Last Attraction Next Exit”, Max Wigram Gallery, London, curated by Neville Wakefield

“Memorial to the Iraq War”, ICA London


Art Basel Miami, Art Nova, Miami Beach

“Defamation of Character”, PS1 Contemporary Art Center, curated by Neville Wakefield

“When the Revolution Comes”, Kathleen Cullen Fine Arts, NYC

The Wrong Gallery in collaboration with the 2006 Whitney Biennial. “Down by Law,” NYC

“Mangoes”, Peres Projects, Los Angeles

“Slow Burn,” curated by Jonah Freeman Galerie Edward Mitterand, Geneva


“Uncertain States of America” Astrup Fearnley Museet for Moderne Kunst, Oslo

“Greater New York” PS1 Contemporary Art Center, NYC

“Interstate” Nicole Klagsbrun, NYC

“Bridge Freezes Before Road” Barbara Gladstone Gallery, NYC, curated by Neville Wakefield

Champion Fine Art, Los Angeles


“The Mythological Machine” Curated by Francesco Manacorda, Mead Gallery, Warwick Arts Centre, Coventry UK

“I Love Music” Curated by Matthew Higgs, Creative Growth, Oakland, CA

“Happy Days Are Here Again” Curated by Andre Schlechtriem, David Zwirner, NYC

“Power Corruption and Lies” Curated by Adam McEwan and Neville Wakefield, Roth Horowitz, NYC

“Drunk vs. Stoned” Gavin Brown’s Enterprise @ Passerby, NYC

“Let the Bullshit Run A Marathon” Curated by Nate Lowman, Nicole Klagsbrun Gallery, NYC


“Foreplay” Ritter/Zamet, London

“Airtight Plan For Killing” Buia Gallery, NYC

“A Matter of Facts” Nicole Klagsbrun Gallery, NYC Curated by Clarissa Dalrymple

Apexart Summer Program, NY. Curated by Katy Siegel, Mitchell Algus, Michele Maccarone.

Grant Selwyn Fine Art, Los Angeles Curated by Clarissa Dalrymple.

Marcus Ritter Gallery, NYC Curated by Rupert Goldsworthy

“The Kids Are Alright” ATM Gallery, NYC Curated by Joe Bradley


“Circumnavigating a Sea of Shit” Cynthia Broan Gallery, NY

“Extacy Falls” G-Module, Paris. Curated by Erik Bakke

“Power Ballads” Rupert Goldsworthy Gallery, NYC

Installation view

Photography: Jeffrey Sturges
All artwork by Nate Lowman © the artist

In a couple of the email messages that Lowman and I have exchanged over the past year, he’s mentioned wanting to make an anti-amnesia machine. This whole show is an anti-amnesia machine. It serves as a public-private, private-public account of what it means to try to forget, and to try not to forget, to watch as things fade away and return, represented in some tattered or corrupted form. A machine, yes, but it’s more like a jalopy, a deliberately rickety thing, always about to break down, but never doing so, a machine where nothing quite fits, but everything works.

That’s why so many of these works are subtractive, are readymades in reverse, objects shaved away, or bent into shape to become art: Take a tow truck and subtract the cab, the tires, the bodywork, until all that’s left is the chassis. Take a photograph and erase the details, desaturate it, remove the background. Take a gas station pump and pull off everything but the front cover. Let an image dissolve so far into its constituent marks that it starts to feel like one of those dreams you have that you barely remember upon waking, and remember less and less as the day goes on, except that unlike dreams, these paintings always leave something behind, like a picture in a foreign language, wavering in and out of comprehension. Nothing is re-moved that doesn’t reveal something else underneath, even if it’s just print-ing dots or Xerox noise, or the image on the reverse side of a thin sheet of newsprint, the elements you find under the things you read, like a crude underpainting or an archeological dig. Indeed, quite a few of them have holes in them, and it can seem, sometimes, as if all these byproducts — the erasures, the visible seams, the blotches, the holes – aren’t byproducts at all: they are the work, because the project is as much to show what lies beneath or behind the pictures, the muttering gossip behind the stories, as much as it’s to show the news itself; or perhaps it’s to show the interplay between the two, in the same way our memories are made up of things we recollect clearly, things we vaguely recall, and things we don’t remember at all. -Jim Lewis

Reverse Marilyn, 2012

Oil and alkyd on canvas and wooden stretcher bars
72 x 52 inches
Photography: Jeffrey Sturges
© Nate Lowman

  • Dropcloth Marilyn 2, 2012
  • Nate's Marilyn, 2010
  • Twin Marilyn, 2011
  • Trash Landing Marilyn #25, 2011
  • Trash Landing Marilyn #13, 2011
  • Trash Landing Marilyn #11, 2011
  • Installation view, The Four Seasons, 2009-2012
  • Installation view, The Four Seasons, 2009-12
  • Installation view, The Four Seasons, 2009-12

Four Seasons, 2009-2012

Mixed media installation
Overall dimensions variable


In the room-size installation Four Seasons (2009-2012) – the baroque theme also visited by Cy Twombly, Richard Prince, and Gerhard Richter – each season takes on the qualities of a verb rather than a noun. Wintering, Springing, Summering, and Falling: Jamie Foxx wields his image-damaging Swastika boogie board in Hawaii; snow falls at Ski Dubai, the winter resort built into a shopping mall in the United Arab Emirates; a man drops from the WTC’s crumbling North tower; Tonya Harding stumbles on the Olympic ice; Jenna Bush wipes out drunk on the pages of the National Enquirer; workers in Cancun picket for fair wages, throwing a wrench in spring break.

Installation view

Photography: Jeffrey Sturges
© Nate Lowman

Pink Cheese Painting #5, 2012
Pink Cheese Painting #4, 2012
Pizza Cheese, 2012 Pink Cheese Painting #3, 2012
Pink Cheese Painting #2, 2012 Pink Cheese Painting #1

Spread in alkyd dots across a canvas, torn from a tabloid, found on the sidewalk, pasted to the fridge, buried in a shoebox: in Lowman’s artistic system, available images and the messages they contain are reprogrammed as expressive tools and keyed into art history. His technique involves themes and indexes – chairs, people pointing at or holding things, swiss cheese – he has a taste for the derelict – battered and broken doors from the refuse heap, flattened aluminum cans, chewing gum, rusted gas pumps like those at abandoned gas stations, passed at high speed on obsolescent highways – and he mingles these souvenirs of the recently bygone with signs that the end is near – ripe crops covered in snow, x-rayed truckfuls of human traffic, flooded suburbs, a smiling ice cream cone announcing I’ll Be Dead Soon.

Installation view, The Wall, 2005-2012

Photography: Jeffrey Sturges
© Nate Lowman

  • (TBT), 2012
  • (TBT), 2012
  • (TBT), 2012
  • (TBT), 2012
  • (TBT), 2012
  • (TBT), 2012
  • (TBT), 2012
  • (TBT), 2012
  • (TBT), 2012
  • Spiced Patchouli, 2011
  • Stoke-a-cola Tree, 2012
  • Total Recall, 2012
Light Gray Escalade, 2012 Purple Escalade, 2012
Yellow Escalade, 2012 Indigestion Painting (Wishful thinking), 2009-2012
Orange Escalade, 2011 Pink Escalade, 2005

  • Smiley Swiss Cheese, 2012
  • Yellow Swiss Cheese, 2012
  • Cyclops Cheese #2, 2012

Installation view

Photography: Jeffrey Sturges
© Nate Lowman

  • Listen Lady, 2011
  • Autocide, 2012
  • Balloon Girl, 2012

For me the drop cloths were a way to inhabit a conversation about the history of mark making, and they're happening automatically and they're done by chance.

– Nate Lowman

  • Jailbreak, 2012
  • Crazy Tourist, 2012
  • Gang Bang, 2011

Installation view

Photography: Jeffrey Sturges
© Nate Lowman

Installation view

Photography: Jeffrey Sturges
© Nate Lowman

Installation view, Ghosts of New York, 2012 Detail from Ghosts of New York, 2012
Green Paper Airplane, 2009 Detail from Ghosts of New York / Anonymous artist, date unknown
Detail from Ghosts of New York / Towel Pants, 2011 Ghost Pizza, 2012

Installation view

Photography: Jeffrey Sturges
© Nate Lowman

  • The Dance, 2012
  • Marigold, 2011
  • Dumb Boy Face (Self-Portrait), 1998-2012

Installation view

Photography: Jeffrey Sturges
© Nate Lowman