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[lives & works - St. Louis, MO ::: b. 1969 – Chicago, IL]


ARNY NADLER is an associate professor at the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts at Washington University in St. Louis where he chaired undergraduate art from 2013-2018. He earned a BFA from Washington University and an MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art. He has received a George Sugarman Foundation grant, a Regional Arts Commission Fellowship and Artist Support Grant,  and two Faculty Creative Research Grants from Washington University. Nadler has works in the permanent collection of the Daum Museum of Contemporary Art and has exhibited at the Orange County Center for Contemporary Art, The Clay Center of New Orleans, Newport Beach Civic Center, Evanston Art Center, Turchin Art Center, Sculpture Key West, Western Michigan University, the Catherine Konner Sculpture Park, and the Mitchell Museum, with reviews in Art in America and other publications. He moderated the panel Material Poetics at the 2017 International Sculpture Conference in Kansas City, MO 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.


The artist says of his work...

I am obsessed with the predicament of the human form, both its fragility and its dominance in the environment. The son of an immigrant tool and die maker who was permanently paralyzed in a factory accident, I grew up preoccupied with the notion of wholeness—of body and place. Making sculpture has always been my way of understanding the world.


I was trained at a very young age to look carefully at how things work, to steal with my eyes (as my father put it) while poring over the shops and drafting tables of his industrial practice. As I developed as an artist, the scope of these observations extended beyond tools and machines to the intricacies of living form. This tendency toward visual appraisal was undoubtedly honed by seeing my father, as powerful as he was, struggle against the realities of living with a disability. Despite the wheelchairs, braces and hand controls for driving the Pontiac that I was taught to repair and modify, some loss simply cannot be engineered away.


My sculptures investigate the body in a state of ambiguous metamorphosis. What specifically they are becoming is not very important—that they are on their way toward an unknown conclusion is. Drawing on human, animal, and unworldly bodies, the figures precariously gesture, as if even they don’t know what they truly are. Some are in fact grotesque, or alluring, or both.


I work in clay strategically for its mutability and plasticity. Many of my sculptures are formed by grafting individual parts together in a manner that nods at structural order but disregards anatomical and proportional correctness. Irregular outgrowths in the material signal erratic germination or atrophy—a misfiguration of appendages. Limbs that don’t appear to work oftentimes take on pronounced roles in the visual hierarchy I assemble. The resulting forms are often simultaneously heroic and absurd—they acknowledge the limitations of the body and flout conventional response systems. Where traditional figurative sculpture often captures a predictable motion in time and space, my work changes as the viewer moves around it. What happens on one side might be wholly unanticipated on the other. By working against symmetry, I defy the expectations of wholeness for the body. Their stilled and puzzled nature is my grasping for truth or a viable system to make things whole.


[download full CV below]



1994                 M.F.A. Cranbrook Academy of Art, Bloomfield Hills, MI 

1991                 B.F.A. Washington University School of Art, St. Louis, MO 



2020       Solo Exhibition, Bruno David Gallery, Clayton, MO (forthcoming in October 2020)

2018       Evident, Recent Work by Ken Wood & Arny Nadler

               Meramec Contemporary Art Gallery, St. Louis Community College, Meramec

2013       Gilt, Schmidt Art Center, Southwestern Illinois College, Belleville, IL

2012       Whelm, Gallery 210, University of Missouri-St. Louis

               Out-door permanent installation

2011       Infrastructure, Mitchell Museum, Cedarhurst Center for the Arts, Mt. Vernon, IL

2010       Infrastructure, Good Citizen Gallery, St. Louis, MO

2010       Grosse Point Confluence, Sculpture on the Grounds Exhibition,

               Evanston Art Center, Evanston, IL



2020       Material Identity, Artworks Center for Contemporary Art, Loveland, CO

               Jurors Jiseon Lee Isbara and Jessica Kooiman Parker

               Visions in Clay 2020, San Joaquin Delta College, LH Horton Gallery, Stockton, CA

               Exhibition juror Nancy Selvin

               Modern and Contemporary American Ceramics from the Permanent Collection

               Daum Museum of Contemporary Art, Sedalia, MO

2019       Summer Exhibition, Bruno David Gallery, Clayton, MO

               The International Cluj Ceramics Biennale 2019, Cluj, Romania (catalog only)


               Korean International Ceramic Biennale 2019, (juried on-line exhibition)


      (online talk)

               Craft Revolution, Orange County Center for Contemporary Art, Santa Ana, CA

               Exhibition juror Staci Steinberger, Assistant Curator, Decorative Arts and Design, LACMA

               Clay Bodies, Clay Center of New Orleans, New Orleans, LA

2018       Visions in Clay 2018, San Joaquin Delta College, LH Horton Gallery, Stockton, CA

               Exhibition juror Beth Ann Gerstein, Executive Director,

               American Museum of Ceramic Arts



Daum Museum of Contemporary Art, Sedalia, MO

University of Missouri, St. Louis

Private collections