BORN IN LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM 1953
CURRENTLY LIVES AND WORKS IN NEW YORK, NEW YORK
Over the course of a five-decade career, Nares has investigated, challenged, and expanded the boundaries of his multi-media practice that encompasses film, music, painting, photography, and performance. He continues to employ various media to explore physicality, motion, and the unfolding of time.
In the 1980s, Nares began to paint using brushes of his own manufacture to create monumental stokes that appear almost three dimensional in their detail and depth, recording a gestural passage of time and motion across the canvas. In 2013, Paul Kasmin Gallery’s exhibition Road Paint presented the first iteration of paintings executed with the same thermoplastic paint used on tarmacs and roads. In 2014, the gallery presented his High Speed Drawings – created, like much of the artist's work – using equipment co-opted and repurposed from industrial or scientific applications. The late Glenn O'Brien aptly described Nares as the "scientific painter," for whom each work is "a research project...a game, but [a game in which] the rules are the rules of physics."
Since 2009, his film and video based work has been executed with cameras capable of shooting at extremely high frame-rates per second, which, when played back, slow down ordinary movements to a speed that allows the viewer to perceive infinitesimally small details. STREET, inspired by the "actualities" films of Edison, the Lumieres, and other early filmmakers, applies this extreme slow-motion technology to shots taken from a moving car of the neighborhoods and denizens of Manhattan. The more recent Portraits, on the other hand, consist entirely of long takes, in medium-close-up, of friends, family, and collaborators. Gestures and facial expressions that would ordinarily register subliminally become intensely dramatic moments.
Nares has been the subject of numerous solo exhibitions, including at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, and this summer, a career-spanning retrospective at the Milwaukee Art Museum. His work is included in several prominent public collections, including the Albright-Knox Gallery, Buffalo, NY; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Museum of Modern Art, New York, and the Whitney Museum of American Art. A career-spanning survey of his film and video works were presented in 2008 at Anthology Film Archives, New York; and in 2011 at IFC Center, New York. In 2014, Rizzoli published a comprehensive monograph on Nares's career to date. Nares has lived and worked in New York since 1974. He has been represented by Kasmin since 1991.
This artist is referred to as James Nares and with the pronoun 'he/his' in all written materials: this is at the request of Jamie Nares, who is now public with her gender identity. The gallery continues to work with the artist so that we may best reflect her wishes and privacy during this transition. (Addendum: June 2019)
Image: James Nares, Freight, 1999, oil on linen, 25 x 81 inches, 63.5 x 205.7 cm. Courtesy of the artist.