Nathan Coley (b.1967, Glasgow, Scotland) is interested in the idea of ‘public’ space, and his practice explores the ways in which architecture becomes invested – and reinvested – with meaning. Across a range of media Coley investigates what the built environment reveals about the people it surrounds and how the social and individual response to it is in turn culturally conditioned. Using the readymade as a means to take from and re-place in the world, Coley addresses the ritual forms we use to articulate our beliefs – from hand-held placards and erected signs to religious sanctuaries. Whether highlighting in illuminated letters the testimony of a New Yorker recalling the World Trade Center attacks or erasing the names of the dead from their gravestones, his work frequently turns the specific into the general, thereby testing its function as a form of social representation.
Nathan Coley lives and works in Glasgow. He has enjoyed solo exhibitions at the Kunstverein Freiburg (2013), the Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver (2012), ACCA, Melbourne (2011), the Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh (2004), the Centro Cultural de Belem, Lisbon (2001) and the Westfalischer Kunstverein, Munster (2000). His work was included in Generation: 25 Years of Contemporary Art in Scotland (2014), You Imagine What You Desire, 19th Biennale of Sydney (2014), Mom, Am I Barbarian, 13th Istanbul Biennial (2013), Tales of Time and Space, Folkestone Triennial, UK (2008), Days Like These, Tate Triennial of Contemporary British Art, Tate Britain (2003), and in the British Art Show 6 at BALTIC (2005). Recent solo exhibitions include You Imagine What You Desire, Jupiter Artland, Edinburgh (2014), From the People, to the People, for the People, Future Perfect, Singapore (2014), Burn the Village, Feel the Warmth, Pier Arts Centre, Orkney (2013), and A Place Beyond Belief, Haunch of Venison, London (2012). His work is represented in many collections worldwide. Coley was shortlisted for the Turner Prize in 2007.
Selected Works See All
Nathan Coley, A Place Beyond Belief, 2012. Illuminated text on scaffolding, 6 × 6 × 3 m. Installation, National Gallery of Kosovo, Pristina.
Nathan Coley, Burn the Village, Feel the Warmth, 2012. Powder-coated aluminium with flourescent lamps, 120 × 75 × 8 cm.
Nathan Coley, Bandstand, 2012. Poured concrete and apple tree, 3 × 15.5 × 7.9 m. Permanent sculpture.
Nathan Coley, In Memory, 2010. Poured concrete, grass, gravel, dead tree, recycled headstones, 2.4 × 7.5 × 7.5 m. Permanent Sculpture.
Nathan Coley, In Memory, 2010. Poured concrete, grass, gravel, dead tree, recycled headstones, 2.4 × 7.5 × 7.5 m.
Nathan Coley, The Square of Three Powers, 2011. Gold leaf on Giclée prints, two parts, 50 × 70 cm each.
Nathan Coley, Tattooed Church, 2011. Painted plywood, 130 × 45 × 146 cm.
Nathan Coley, Fear of Death, 2009. Painted wood and mixed media, 242 × 50 × 50 cm each.
Nathan Coley, 46 Brooklands Gardens, 2008. Welded steel, painted plywood, 10 × 6.2 × 5.3 m.
Nathan Coley, Palace, 2008. Painted timber, 9.5 × 4.1 × 5.6 m.
Nathan Coley, There Will Be No Miracles Here, 2006. Illuminated text on scaffolding, 6 × 6 × 4 m.
Nathan Coley, The Lamp of Sacrifice (286 Places of Worship, Edinburgh), 2004. Cardboard, dimensions variable.
Hatje Cantz, 2014
Films See All
A Place Beyond Belief