Nathaniel Robinson

The New York Times describes Nathaniel Robinson as a “remarkably inventive sculptor [making] technically impressive, philosophically provocative works that play in the gap between perception and cognition — between what you see and what you understand.” Robinson's wizard-like simulations of real-life objects are derived from utilitarian items, relieved from any branding or specificity in design. Using ingenious handbuilding methods and working from handmade molds, Robinson's fiberglass-reinforced gypsum cement sculptures are scaled up much larger than life and physically manipulated into distortion. While primarily known as a sculptor, Robinson's new paintings merge realism with abstraction, using geometric forms to suggest urban or natural landscapes and environments. Acting less like an objective record than an evocation of fleeting views captured while traveling by train to Manhattan from his home in Brewster, New York, "the artist elevates the prosaic trackside acreage that clutters the periphery of our urban areas." In a review of his first painting exhibition in 2019, Michelle Grabner continues to write, "Robinson withholds the details that make things unremarkable and exaggerates the abstract qualities that build a compelling with his sculptures, we find ourselves taking a second look at what is in plain sight." Executed with a minimal, pared-down style and painted in muted, simple colors, Robinson's elegant paintings and crafted objects express a deep ambivalence toward the limits of human perception and function as a metaphor for the ambiguous experiences of everyday life.

Nathaniel Robinson received his BA from Amherst College in 2002 and his MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2005. Robinson has held solo exhibitions at Magenta Plains, New York, NY; Feature, Inc., New York, NY; Devening Projects, Chicago, IL; and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL. Robinson has also been included in group exhibitions at the American Academy of Arts & Letters, New York, NY; White Columns, New York, NY; Martos, New York, NY; Thomas Park Gallery in New York, NY; Maerzgalerie, Leipzig; dok25a, Dusseldorf; and TCB art inc, Melbourne. Robinson is a recipient of the American Academy of Arts & Letters 2019 Art Purchase Award and his work has been written about in publications such as The New York Times, New York Magazine, Artforum, and Art in America. Robinson lives and works in Brewster, NY.

Born 1980, RI
Lives and works in Brewster, NY



MFA, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL


BA, Amherst College, Amherst, MA

Solo Exhibitions


(Forthcoming), Magenta Plains, New York, NY


Paintings, Devening Projects, Chicago, IL


No One’s Things, Magenta Plains, New York, NY


Discrete Pieces, Launch F18, New York, NY


Outer Air, Feature Inc., New York
The Sensible Range, Devening Projects, Chicago, IL


De Facto, Devening Projects, Chicago, IL
Civil Twilight, Feature Inc., New York, NY
Civil Twilight, TWIG, Brussels, BE


Pseudorandom, Denler Gallery, Northwestern College, St. Paul, MN
Wash, Gift Shop Project Space, Chicago, IL


2 x 12 series: Nathaniel Robinson, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL

Group Exhibitions


Rival Exchange, ADDS DONNA, Chicago, IL
Invitational Exhibition of Visual Arts, American Academy of Arts & Letters, New York, NY
ZENTRIFIED! Curated by Ken Johnson, Thomas Park Gallery, New York, NY


Chrome Green curated by James Kao and Laura Mackin, Heaven Gallery, Chicago, IL
The Now Forever, Basilica, Hudson, NY


Let's Go Let Go: In Memoriam Hudson, 33 Orchard, New York, NY


No Name, On Stellar Rays, New York, NY
Green Flower Street, Tatiana Kourochkina Gallery, IST


Punt, Feature Inc., New York
Upstream, Video Art Program, NADA Hudson, Hudson, NY
Creature from the Blue Lagoon, Martos Gallery, Bridgehampton, NY
I Surrender, Devening Projects, Chicago, IL
If Loss Could Weigh, TCB art inc., Melbourne, AU
Color: Fully Engaged, A+D Gallery, Columbia College, Chicago, IL
I Am Not Monogamous, I Heart Poetry, Feature Inc., New York, NY
We Regret to Inform You There Is Currently No Space or Place for Abstract Painting, Martos Gallery, New York, NY


Quarterly Site #4: Registers, LVL3, Chicago, IL
Gravity Matters and Shadowy Folds, dok25a, Dusseldorf, DE
Looking Back: The Fifth White Columns Annual, White Columns, New York, NY


Skulture, Feature Inc., New York, NY
Little Triggers, Devening Projects, Chicago, IL
All My Friends are Dead, Maerzgalerie, Leipzig, DE


Paper Love, Devening Projects, Chicago, IL
Action.Stop.Action, Vox Populi, Philadelphia, PA


Hope, Linda Warren Gallery, Chicago, IL
Four Ways to Tell a Story, Eli Marsh Gallery, Amherst College, Amherst, MA


A Sense of Place: Emerging Chicago Sculpture, The Lobby Gallery, Chicago, IL
Lookers, Heaven Gallery, Chicago, IL
Drawn to Drawing, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL


Peridolia, Orange County Center for Contemporary Art, Santa Ana, CA
Infrathin, Gahlberg Gallery, College of DuPage, Glen Ellyn, IL
Infrathin, portable exhibition curated by Dan Devening, College of DuPage, Glen Ellyn, IL


Body of Work, Gallery Agniel, Providence, RI


Form and Color, Lenore Gray Gallery, Providence, RI