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.
In 2015 Coley will be included in the House Festival, Brighton (2–24 May) and the Bruges Triennial (20 May–18 October), and will have a solo exhibition at The New Art Centre, Salisbury, UK.