Davidson Contemporary presents The Conspirators, a solo exhibition by Brooklyn-based artist Nathan Catlin.
Catlin, a master printmaker, has evolved his oeuvre to include large- and small-scale paintings, drawings, sculpture and, for this exhibition, stained glass and a site-specific mural joining the gallery's two main spaces. The works follow a linear narrative featuring nameless characters in strange and often ominous seeming situations. In a forest filled with smoke, figures gather to perform bizarre rites that are dark and yet necessary for survival. Soon, the woods burn down, only to be flooded, stranding the dwindling populace on an endless ocean. A snakebitten hand and a raised axe are destined to meet. A knife stuck into a smoke-shrouded stump appears again on a drifting dinghy.
Filled with allegory and symbolisms, each work is a standalone scene but fits into the greater storyline from the mind of the artist. Catlin weaves a tale of humanity and hopelessness, productivity and purgatory. Even as things fall apart within the world, his figures perform their tasks with assiduous resolve, neither reveling in their tasks nor despairing in their fates. Drawing on art historical references from throughout the ages, Catlin‘s works call on Dutch woodcuts and Renaissance paintings, as well as Surrealism and Magical Realism.
Nathan Catlin received his MFA in visual arts from Columbia University in 2012, with special focus on printmaking. Since then he has been an adjunct professor teaching relief printmaking at Columbia University and has shown his art around the country and internationally. This is his first solo show with Davidson Contemporary.