Massimo De Carlo presents Elliptical Machine Gun, American artist Nate Lowman’s first exhibition at Palazzo Belgioioso in Milan.
Nate Lowman’s new solo show Elliptical Machine Gun reflects on the machine gun, a military weapon devised to fire indefinitely as long as the trigger is held down. In recent years, a semi-automatic version of this gun has increasingly been used in American mass shootings. This phenomenon, wherein an (often legally) armed civilian opens fire on a group of other civilians, killing or injuring dozens within minutes, is a uniquely American horror in its widespread, recurring form. In spite of repeated tragedies, no mass shooting crime seems terrible enough to create meaningful changes in American gun law. The right to bear arms, a founding tenet of the United States Constitution, is touted as justification for loose regulations in the thriving domestic firearms market.
Nate Lowman’s work concerns itself with the intersections of power, beauty, and violence in art and society, but these themes always come embedded within a highly specific and intimate relationship to materials, including laborious studio techniques such as a pointillist dot painting meant to resemble silkscreens, and intricately shaped hand-stretched canvases.
In Elliptical Machine Gun, Lowman fuses imagery of machine guns with elliptical trainer machines, linked by their suggestion of limitlessness in the expenditure of deadly force or muscular endurance. Flowers and bullet holes, a recurring iconographic theme in Lowman’s work, appear as bursts that signal gunfire or simply as existential abstractions, depicting expansion and fragmentation moving outward from a fixed point in time and space. In this exhibition, Lowman further refines his image-making approach in the service of a layered, open-ended portrayal of the textures of life and death under the American dream.
Nate Lowman was born in 1979 in Las Vegas, he currently lives and works in New York. Solo exhibitions include: Before and after, Aspen Art Museum, Aspen, USA (2017); World of Interiors, FRAC Champagne-Ardenne, Reims, F (2016); America Sneezes, Dallas Contemporary, Dallas, USA (2015); Rave the Painforest, Maccarone, New York, USA, (2014); I Wanted to Be an Artist But All I Got Was This Lousy Career, The Brant Foundation Art Study Center, Greenwich, USA, (2012); Three Amigos: Gift Ghost GAP, American Academy in Rome, Rome, Italy, (2011); The Natriot Act, Astrup Fearnely Museum, Oslo, Norway, (2009); Nate Lowman, The Hydra Workshop, Hydra, Greece, (2009); Axis of Praxis, Midway Contemporary Art Center, Minneapolis, USA, (2006). His work has been exhibited internationally in group exhibition in prestigiuos instistuions including: Progressive Praxis, de la Cruz Collection, Miami, USA (2016); Storylines, The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, USA (2015); Second Chances, Aspen Art Museum, Aspen, USA (2015); Three Blind Mice, Dhondt-Dhaenens Museum, Deurle, Belgium, (2014); Temi e Variazioni. L’Impero della Luce, Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Palazzo Venier dei Leoni, Venice, Italy, (2014); 12th Biennale de Lyon, La Biennale de Lyon, Lyon, France (2013); Nate Lowman: Homage to Jay Defeo, public performance at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, USA (2013); American Exuberance, Rubell Family Collection, Miami, USA, (2011); Fresh Hell, Palais de Tokio, Paris, France, (2010).Photo by Roberto Marossi. Courtesy Massimo De Carlo, Milan/London/Hong Kong