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Arny Nadler



Arny Nadler’s work explores the predicament of the human form—its fragility and dominance in the environment. Exploiting the natural plasticity of ceramics, his sculpture situates the body in a state of ambiguous metamorphosis. Irregular outgrowths in the material signal erratic germination or atrophy. By working against symmetry, he challenges the expectations of wholeness for the body. Their stilled and puzzled nature is a grasping for truth or a viable belief system.

Nadler is an associate professor in the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts at Washington University in St. Louis, where he chaired undergraduate art from 2013-2018. He earned his BFA in Sculpture from Washington University and his MFA in Sculpture from Cranbrook Academy of Art. He is a recipient of a George Sugarman Foundation grant, both a Fellowship and an Artist Support Grant from the Regional Arts Commission, and two Sam Fox School Faculty Creative Activity Research Grants. Nadler has works in the permanent collection of the Daum Museum of Contemporary Art and was included in the 24th No Dead Artists exhibition at Jonathan Ferrara Gallery in New Orleans. He was in a two-person exhibition with Ivan Albreht at Manifest Gallery in Cincinnati, OH, and was included in This Moment of Rupture, a national survey of contemporary ceramics at VisArts Art Center in Rockville, MD. Other venues include the Orange County Center for Contemporary Art, Newport Beach Civic Center, and the Catherine Konner Sculpture Park, with reviews in Art in America and other publications.

Nadler moderated the panel Material Poetics at the 2017 International Sculpture Conference in Kansas City and has presented at the Foundations in Art: Theory and Education Conference and the Mid-America College Art Association Conference. He has been a visiting artist at several universities and colleges and is represented by Bruno David Gallery in St. Louis, where his solo exhibition Firstlings: Sculptures + Works on Paper opened in October 2020.

Personal website

Work by Arny Nadler

An organic, amorphous form painted in black on paper, with several loops curving outward and back as if wings. The ink gathers in pools across the composition, creating a crisp silhouette.

Firstling Study No. 9, 2020

Ink on paper. 11" x 15".
An almost human silhouette, with dark ink in the left leg by a fainter, almost ghostlike treatment higher up.

Firstling Study No. 24, 2020

Ink on paper. 11" x 15".
A dark, vaguely amorphous sculpture on a white platform. The sculpture's forms are almost fleshy.

Firstling No. 20, 2019

Painted ceramic. 25" x 13.25" x 8.5".
A dark, vaguely amorphous sculpture on a dark gray platform. The sculpture's forms come to a point at the top.

Firstling No. 26, 2020

Painted ceramic. 45" x 22.5" x 17.5".
A dark, vaguely amorphous sculpture on a dark gray platform.

Firstling No. 28, 2020

Painted ceramic. 40.5" x 22" x 19.5".
A dark, vaguely amorphous sculpture on a white platform. The sculpture's forms are almost fleshy, with a small horn protruding at the top.

Firstling No. 17, 2019

latex painted ceramic. 22.5" x 16.5" x 12". Photo credit Richard Sprengeler.
A tall sculpture, in a metallic/gray hue: its form is irregular yet suggestive of human flesh, with intricate folds and masses. It is placed on a white platform.

Firstling No. 15, 2019

Latex painted ceramic. 40" x 11.5" x 9.25". Photo credit Richard Sprengeler.
A white sculpture on a white platform: while unidentifiable in form, its cracks, folds, and protrusions are vaguely organic, with a branch-like portion extending upwards from the side.

Firstling No. 22, 2019

Latex painted ceramic. 25.5" x 17.5" x 14". Photo credit Richard Sprengeler.
An organic, amorphous form painted in black on paper, the ink gathering in density around the edges, creating a crisp silhouette.

Firstlings Study No. 13, 2020

Ink on paper. 11" x 15". Photo credit Richard Sprengeler.
An organic, amorphous form painted in black on paper, with several loops curving outward and back as if wings. The ink gathers in pools across the composition, creating a crisp silhouette.

Firstlings Study No. 14, 2020

Ink on paper. 11" x 15". Photo credit Richard Sprengeler.
Nadler arny bloom study no. 1 2021

Bloom Study No. 1, 2021

India ink on paper 11 x 15 inches
Nadler arny waiting study no. 1 2021

Waiting Study No. 1, 2021

India ink on paper 11 x 15 inches
Nadler arny bloom study no. 2 2021

Bloom Study No. 2, 2021

India ink on paper 11 x 15 inches
Nadler arny gait study no. 1 2021

Gait Study No. 1, 2021

India ink on paper 11 x 15 inches
Nadler arny unraveling study no. 1 2021

Unraveling Study No. 1, 2021

India ink on paper 11 x 15 inches