The Ann Nathan Gallery features contemporary painting and sculpture, functional art (in this case, furniture) and traditional African objects. Assorted, for sure, though it's a planned eclecticism. Gallery owner Ann Nathan enjoys arranging works in a "warmer, more comfortable" setting. "I'm not a purist," says Nathan. The paintings and sculptures are mainly figurative, and range from the astonishingly realistic to the obsessively autobiographical. The works of self-taught (or outsider) artists mix easily with those of the academically trained. What matters to Nathan is the quality of the individual pieces.
A common theme of the gallery’s collection is the relationship between traditional and contemporary themes. For some examples of this: George Klauba retells Melville's "Moby Dick" with a cast of birdmen; Alexsander Balos and Bruno Sordo dynamically reinterpret Renaissance motifs; Jim Rose expresses the Shaker furniture aesthetic in steel; and Anna Sea captions her modern paintings in script that recalls ancient annunciations.
The gallery is a good place to test how well you paid attention in school: The more you remember from your art history or literature classes, the more you'll get from the works on the walls. The interior of the gallery is spacious and bright, with high ceilings and massive beams of exposed wood secured with cast iron brackets. The back rooms contain surprise-filled nooks, such as a display of Senufu ceremonial stools and a kimono fashioned from a steel oil drum. Shows usually change every one to two months. The website provides a schedule of upcoming events.
Centerstage Reviewer: Alan Simmons