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Exhibitions

Nate Clark

Squinch

Nate Clark's hand-tied nets and cedar constructions reflect our complex relationship with time, technology, and the ethics of a changing world.

Nate Clark. Orange Cube (Isle Royale National Park), 2019. Mohair and silk yarn. 24 x 24 x 24 inches
  • May 5 - 27, 2022
  • Opening: Thursday, May 5, 5:00 — 8:00pm

Nets are ubiquitous, made and used by humans worldwide throughout history. A net can trap prey, carry goods, or be used as a safety device; it is both threatening and comforting, a duality dictated by the intention of the maker and user. Created from a single line looped together again and again, the process of tying a net relies on a structured system, like weaving. Its permeable surface can either be visible or invisible.

A squinch binds two unique shapes. Set diagonally across the interior angle between walls, this curved support provides the transition needed to hold a superimposed architectural mass, like a dome. Every squinch is site specific and site responsive.

Clark is fascinated by such transitional zones and the melding of forms and objects. He embraces traditional and contemporary materials, the impact and properties of which are calculated. Strips of Alaskan yellow cedar—cut, bent, and laminated—form freestanding and wall-mounted sculptures. Hand-spun wool from his landlady’s sheep, fair-trade nettle yarn from Nepal, beeswax from hives he kept in Reno, NV, as well as silk and mohair are interwoven to create his nets.


About the Artist

Born in Olympia, Nate Clark (1987) is a fourth generation Washingtonian of settler ancestry. He received his BFA in photography and painting from the University of Nevada, Reno in 2010. The open spaces and public lands of Northern Nevada profoundly influenced his process. After living in the Great Basin for ten years, Clark moved to Seattle to pursue an MFA in painting and drawing at the University of Washington, graduating in 2018. His work shifted from painting to sculpture during this time; he began tying nets as a means of embodying the mark-making process developed in his paintings. Net-tying relates to a childhood obsession with knitting and crocheting, some of the many crafts practiced with his grandmother.

Clark currently lives and makes artwork on Vashon Island, the traditional lands of the Duwamish, Suquamish, and Puyallup. Nate is an adjunct faculty member at the University of Puget Sound while working as the studio technician for the Art Department. He served as studio assistant to his mentor, the late Denzil Hurley, for many years. Clark’s work is included in the permanent collections of The Sierra Arts Foundation, Nevada State College, The University of Nevada, Reno, Oats Park Art Center, and Isle Royale National Park.