February 3 – April 20, 2012
Nathan Carter’s exuberant wall reliefs, sculptures, and hanging objects draw their inspiration from a wide range of existing “ready-made” systems including technological networks and devices, modes and pathways of mass transit, and typography and graphics as a universal language of communication. Made of metal or wood and painted in bright, joyous colors with no attempt to hide their handmade quality, they freely reference modernist strategies of play and intuition.
Carter has long been drawn to the theatricality of dioramas and their closed “worlds expressed or explained in a single scene.” Anyone who has ever visited a natural history museum or historical society has experienced varyingly successful attempts at recreating holistic enclosed tableaux of times and worlds lost, forgotten, or on the brink of disappearing. Not all of us have the urge to apply such methods to the assessment of contemporary conditions of existence, but fortunately for us, Carter’s project is the result of precisely such an impulse.
Carter’s ALWAYS VOCAL ON THE INTERBORO CROSSTOWN LOCAL is a fictional cityscape that seeks to capture the essence of the contemporary city, version 2012. In homage to a long lineage of artists, poets, and musicians searching for the ultimate expression of urban life, Carter freely references Italian Futurist onomatopoetic poetry, Diego Rivera’s murals of New York City, and the hip-hop sounds innovated by Public Enemy’s sonic architect Hank Shocklee. Composed of abstract shapes and letters evoking the structures, sounds and feelings of urbanism, ALWAYS VOCAL ON THE INTERBORO CROSSTOWN LOCAL situates the city in this creative clamor by translating visual and spoken rhythms into a pair of sculptural tableaux that offer the artist’s very own take on the subject.
Nathan Carter was born in Dallas, TX and is based in New York City. He earned his MFA from Yale University in 1999.