Kenton Nelson

“The Californian artist R. Kenton Nelson has single handedly resurrected the sun drenched optimism of New Deal American Painting.” --John A. Parks, American Artist, 2004

SAN FRANCISCO

UNION SQUARE

 

341 Sutter Street
San Francisco, California 94108

Monday - Saturday, 11am - 5pm

Sunday by appointment 

415.392.2299

ST. HELENA

NAPA VALLEY

 

1328 Main Street
St. Helena, California 94574

Monday - Saturday, 10am - 5pm

Sunday 11am - 5pm

707.200.5050

MONTECITO

SANTA BARBARA

 

1266 Coast Village Road
Santa Barbara, California 93108

Monday, Thursday - Saturday, 10am - 5pm

Sunday, 11am - 5pm

Tuesday - Wednesday by Appointment

805.770.7170

Copyright 2020 Caldwell Snyder Gallery

All rights reserved.

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Biography

Being raised in a middle-class home and living my entire life in Southern California utterly informs the way I see and depict the world in my artwork. “Vacation” for my family was camping for six weeks at a local beach because my parents found it was an inexpensive way to amuse four children. (Dad also loved the beach and was an excellent body surfer.) Summertime brought a longing for an invitation to a neighbor’s turquoise kidney-shaped swimming pool. We knew who had the pools by the reflections of the water in the eaves or the sound of the springs of a diving board. Satisfaction was achieved by running through sprinklers until our lime-green, newly mown lawn was oversaturated. Refreshment was a garden hose away, or perhaps it was the sound of a splash in a swimming pool. It was a Rainbird, the smell of the ocean, water on asphalt, or the taste of Kool-Aid in an aluminum or Tupperware glass.

Life in California in the postwar world of my youth was a promise of a magnificent future, with dreams of prosperity and perfection. Our culture was one of health, rockets, Disneyland, and surf. Scores of summer days were lost to sitting in a tree with a friend and waiting for the local “European” mom to sunbathe with her top off, only to eventually learn that the rumor of the hopeful vision would never be realized.

Now, through my work, I am able to heighten the reality of an invented scene and create my own rumors and common and sublime scenes, set outside of politics, social status, and time.

My history frames my Social Idealism, depicting California’s culture and traditions with a distilled vision of my lifetime and memories. In my artwork, I am forever trying to compose “a place I would rather be.” With every long, hot summer, we were always restored with water—whether we were consuming it or it was consuming us.

Immerse yourself: Water is the cool shadow to a sunlit optimism.

BORN
1954 Los Angeles, CA

EDUCATION
1977-1979 California State University Long Beach
1979 Otis Parsons, Los Angeles, California



SELECTED SOLO EXHIBITIONS
2019 Water Paintings, Caldwell Snyder Gallery, St. Helena, CA
2018 Kenton Nelson: Water, Peter Mendenhall Gallery, Pasadena, CA
New Work, Galerie Nikolaus Ruzicska, Salzburg, Austria
2017 Gerald Peters Gallery, New York, New York Recent Paintings, Caldwell Snyder Gallery, St. Helena, CA
2016 Splash: Art by Kenton Nelson
California Heritage Museum, Santa Monica, CA
2015 Californian Idealism: Paintings by Kenton Nelson Bakersfield Museum of Art, Bakersfield, CA
Galerie Nikolaus Ruzicska, Salzburg, Austria
2014 Peter Mendenhall Gallery, Los Angeles, California Bohemian Club, San Francisco, CA
2013 Obstacles and Competition SpardaWelt Sparda-Bank Baden-Wurttemberg, Stuttgart, Germany
2012 Peter Mendenhall Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
2011 Peter Mendenhall Gallery, New York, NY (pop-up)
Galerie Nikolaus Ruzicska, Salzburg, Austria
2010 Galerie Haas AG, Zurich, Switzerland
Peter Mendenhall Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
SCAPE, Corona Del Mar, CA
2009 Galerie Nikolaus Ruzicska, Salzburg, Austria
2008 Galerie Michael Haas, Berlin, Germany
Peter Mendenhall Gallery, Los Angeles,CA
Art Brussels 26th Contemporary Art Fair, Brussels, Belgium
2007 Galerie Nikolaus Ruzicska, Salzburg, Austria
2006 Plus One Gallery, London, England
2005 Galerie Nikolaus Ruzicska, Salzburg, Austria
Reynolds Gallery, Westmont College, Montecito,CA
Pasadena Museum of California Art, Pasadena, CA
Klaudia Marr Gallery, Santa Fe, New Mexico
Mendenhall Sobieski Gallery, Pasadena, CA
2004 Ettinger Gallery, New York, NY
SCAPE, Corona Del Mar, CA
2003 Scott White Contemporary Art, La Jolla, CA
Klaudia Marr Gallery, Santa Fe, NM
2002 Ettinger Gallery, New York, NY
Van De Griff / Marr Gallery, Santa Fe, NM
Sullivan Goss Limited, Montecito, CA
2001 DNFA Gallery, Laguna Beach, CA
Scott White Contemporary Art, La Jolla, CA
2000 Van De Griff Gallery, Santa Fe, NM
Ettinger Gallery, New York, NY
1999 DNFA Gallery, Laguna Beach, CA
Mendenhall Gallery, Pasadena, CA
1998 Ettinger Gallery, New York, NY
Mendenhall Gallery, Pasadena, CA
Davidson Gallery, Seattle, Washington
1997 Mendenhall Gallery, Pasadena, CA
Ettinger Gallery, New York, NY
Muckenthaler Arts Center, Fullerton, CA
1996 Mendenhall Gallery, Pasadena, CA
Cerritos College Fine Arts Gallery, CA
1995 Mendenhall Gallery, Pasadena, CA
1993 Mendenhall Gallery, Pasadena, CA



SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS
2019 Warhol bis Richter, Albertina, Vienna, Austria
2017 Albertina Contemporary Art, Albertina, Vienna, Austria
2016 Kenton Nelson | Present Tense, Peters Projects, Santa Fe, NM
2015 50th Anniversay Exhibition, Muckenthaler Cultural Center, Fullerton, CA
2013 Frostig At Large, Lancaster Museum of Art & History, Lancaster, CA
2012 Albertina Contemporary: Gerhard Richter bis Kiki Smith, Albertina, Vienna, Austria
2011 Galerie Nikolaus Ruzicska, Salzburg, Austria
2009 Batliner Collection, Albertina, Vienna, Austria
Art Cologne, Germany
Warum ich kein Konservativer bin Museum der bildenden Kunste, Leipzig, Germany
2008 Peter Mendenhall Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
Go for it! Olbricht Collection (a sequel) Weserburg Museum, Bremen, Germany
Red Rot Rouge, Residenzgalerie Salzburg, Salzburg, Austria
Arte Fiera, Bologna, Italy
2006 Galerie Nikolaus Ruzicska, Salzburg, Austria
2005 Cypress College Art Gallery, Cypress, CA
Ettinger Gallery, New York, New York
2004 Mendenhall Sobieski Gallery, Pasadena, CA
Galerie Nikolaus Ruzicska, Salzburg, Austria
Klaudia Marr Gallery, Santa Fe, New Mexico
Sullivan Goss Limited, Montecito, CA
2001 Peterson Automotive Museum, Los Angeles, CA



INSTRUCTION AND AWARDS
Otis Parsons, Los Angeles Academy of Art, San Francisco
2004 Gold Crown Award, Pasadena Arts Council

PUBLIC AND PRIVATE COLLECTIONS
Albertina, Vienna, Austria • Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, California • Laguna Art Museum, Laguna Beach • California Palm Springs Art Museum, California • Schauwerk Sindelfingen, Germany • UCI Institute and Museum for California Art, Irvine, California • Thomas Olbricht, me Collectors Room, Berlin Herbert & Rita Batliner, Liechtenstein • Steve Martin, Beverly Hills, CA • Dean Koontz, Los Angeles, CA • Charles Simonyi, Portland, OR • Tony Jonas, Los Angeles, CA • Kevin Sharer, Los Angeles, CA • Vivian & Howard Krepak, Beverly Hills, CA • Brian Grazer, Los Angeles, CA • Erika Glazer, Los Angeles, CA • Ralph Kent Cooke, Lexington, KY • Microsoft, NY • David Geffen, Los Angeles, CA • James and Pam Muzzy, Newport Beach, CA • Jim & Ann Gianopolis, CA • Reed Halladay, Los Angeles, CA • Donald Kushner, Los Angeles, CA • Bob Crais, Los Angeles, CA



PERIODICALS AND TEXTS
2013Looseleaf, Victoria, “American Life Remembered: Kenton Nelson’s Comfort Art,” Artbound KCET, June 19 20132013Caldwell, Carol, “Kenton Nelson: This Side of Paradise,” Nashville Arts Magazine, May 20132007Weinzierl, Gudrun, “Osterausstellungen bei Ruzicska und Ropac: Kenton Nelson, Francisco Clemente,”Salzburger Nachrichten, April 2007“Kenton Nelson,” Kronen Zeitung, April 2007“Kenton Nelson,” Top of Salzburg, April 2007Bubendorfer, Cay, “Die Kunst des Augenblicks,” Die Presse, April 20072005Haggerty, Gerard, “R. Kenton Nelson,” Art News, December 2005Woodward, Josef, “Full Nelson Effect,” ArtsScene, December 2005“R. Kenton Nelson,” American Art Collector, October 2005“Kenton Nelson,” Wirtschafts-Magazin, August, 2005“Full Nelson,” Hemispheres, March 2005Parks, John A., “A Peaceable Kingdom: The Paintings of R. Kenton Nelson,” American Artist, February 20052004Mahler, Richard, “Pool Party,” Southwest Art, July 20042003Thomson Randall, Teri, “Glorifying the Utterly Ordinary,” Pasatiempo, December 20032002Cline, Lynn, “Nelson’s World,” Pasatiempo, May 20022001Kolpas, Norman, “Perfect Worlds,” Southwest Art, March 20012000Jarrett, Dennis, “Picture Perfect,” Santa Fe Reporter, May 20001999Turner, Nancy Kay, “R. Kenton Nelson,” ArtScene, March 1999Turner, Grady T., “R. Kenton Nelson,” ArtNews, February 19991996Moure, Nancy, “Southern California,” Southwest Art, March 1996

BOOKS AND CATALOGUES
2019Water: Californian Idealism, Prospect Park Books2017American Artist Kenton Nelson Documentary: Working on Art,featuring photographs by Erwin Darmali2015Californian Idealism: Paintings by Kenton NelsonBakersfield Museum of Art, Bakersfield, California2013Obstacles and Competition, exhibition catalogue, Sparda-Bank2009Kenton Nelson, exhibition catalogue, Galerie Haas AG2008Present Tense, Mendenhall/RuzicskaRot Red Rouge, exhibition catalogue, Residenzgalerie SalzburgKenton Nelson, exhibition catalogue, Galerie Michael Haas2005Rhyme and Reason/ Prose and Cons, Morton Court Publishing1998Picturing a Perfect World, R. Kenton Nelson1996The Grand Metropolis, exhibition catalogue, Mendenhall Gallery1995Short Stories, exhibition catalogue, Mendenhall Gallery1994Lupita’s Perfect Day, exhibition catalogue, Mendenhall Gallery



WORK FEATURED IN FILMS AND TELEVISION
The New Normal, Season 1: 2012, Fox Television
Something’s Gotta Give: 2003, Jack Nicholson, Diane Keaton
What Women Want: 2000, Mel Gibson, Helen Hunt
The Parent Trap: 1998, Lindsay Lohan, Dennis Quaid
Father of the Bride Part II: 1995, Steve Martin, Diane Keaton

Press

PRESS

BORN
1954 Los Angeles, CA

EDUCATION
1977-1979 California State University Long Beach
1979 Otis Parsons, Los Angeles, California



SELECTED SOLO EXHIBITIONS
2019 Water Paintings, Caldwell Snyder Gallery, St. Helena, CA
2018 Kenton Nelson: Water, Peter Mendenhall Gallery, Pasadena, CA
New Work, Galerie Nikolaus Ruzicska, Salzburg, Austria
2017 Gerald Peters Gallery, New York, New York Recent Paintings, Caldwell Snyder Gallery, St. Helena, CA
2016 Splash: Art by Kenton Nelson
California Heritage Museum, Santa Monica, CA
2015 Californian Idealism: Paintings by Kenton Nelson Bakersfield Museum of Art, Bakersfield, CA
Galerie Nikolaus Ruzicska, Salzburg, Austria
2014 Peter Mendenhall Gallery, Los Angeles, California Bohemian Club, San Francisco, CA
2013 Obstacles and Competition SpardaWelt Sparda-Bank Baden-Wurttemberg, Stuttgart, Germany
2012 Peter Mendenhall Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
2011 Peter Mendenhall Gallery, New York, NY (pop-up)
Galerie Nikolaus Ruzicska, Salzburg, Austria
2010 Galerie Haas AG, Zurich, Switzerland
Peter Mendenhall Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
SCAPE, Corona Del Mar, CA
2009 Galerie Nikolaus Ruzicska, Salzburg, Austria
2008 Galerie Michael Haas, Berlin, Germany
Peter Mendenhall Gallery, Los Angeles,CA
Art Brussels 26th Contemporary Art Fair, Brussels, Belgium
2007 Galerie Nikolaus Ruzicska, Salzburg, Austria
2006 Plus One Gallery, London, England
2005 Galerie Nikolaus Ruzicska, Salzburg, Austria
Reynolds Gallery, Westmont College, Montecito,CA
Pasadena Museum of California Art, Pasadena, CA
Klaudia Marr Gallery, Santa Fe, New Mexico
Mendenhall Sobieski Gallery, Pasadena, CA
2004 Ettinger Gallery, New York, NY
SCAPE, Corona Del Mar, CA
2003 Scott White Contemporary Art, La Jolla, CA
Klaudia Marr Gallery, Santa Fe, NM
2002 Ettinger Gallery, New York, NY
Van De Griff / Marr Gallery, Santa Fe, NM
Sullivan Goss Limited, Montecito, CA
2001 DNFA Gallery, Laguna Beach, CA
Scott White Contemporary Art, La Jolla, CA
2000 Van De Griff Gallery, Santa Fe, NM
Ettinger Gallery, New York, NY
1999 DNFA Gallery, Laguna Beach, CA
Mendenhall Gallery, Pasadena, CA
1998 Ettinger Gallery, New York, NY
Mendenhall Gallery, Pasadena, CA
Davidson Gallery, Seattle, Washington
1997 Mendenhall Gallery, Pasadena, CA
Ettinger Gallery, New York, NY
Muckenthaler Arts Center, Fullerton, CA
1996 Mendenhall Gallery, Pasadena, CA
Cerritos College Fine Arts Gallery, CA
1995 Mendenhall Gallery, Pasadena, CA
1993 Mendenhall Gallery, Pasadena, CA



SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS
2019 Warhol bis Richter, Albertina, Vienna, Austria
2017 Albertina Contemporary Art, Albertina, Vienna, Austria
2016 Kenton Nelson | Present Tense, Peters Projects, Santa Fe, NM
2015 50th Anniversay Exhibition, Muckenthaler Cultural Center, Fullerton, CA
2013 Frostig At Large, Lancaster Museum of Art & History, Lancaster, CA
2012 Albertina Contemporary: Gerhard Richter bis Kiki Smith, Albertina, Vienna, Austria
2011 Galerie Nikolaus Ruzicska, Salzburg, Austria
2009 Batliner Collection, Albertina, Vienna, Austria
Art Cologne, Germany
Warum ich kein Konservativer bin Museum der bildenden Kunste, Leipzig, Germany
2008 Peter Mendenhall Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
Go for it! Olbricht Collection (a sequel) Weserburg Museum, Bremen, Germany
Red Rot Rouge, Residenzgalerie Salzburg, Salzburg, Austria
Arte Fiera, Bologna, Italy
2006 Galerie Nikolaus Ruzicska, Salzburg, Austria
2005 Cypress College Art Gallery, Cypress, CA
Ettinger Gallery, New York, New York
2004 Mendenhall Sobieski Gallery, Pasadena, CA
Galerie Nikolaus Ruzicska, Salzburg, Austria
Klaudia Marr Gallery, Santa Fe, New Mexico
Sullivan Goss Limited, Montecito, CA
2001 Peterson Automotive Museum, Los Angeles, CA



INSTRUCTION AND AWARDS
Otis Parsons, Los Angeles Academy of Art, San Francisco
2004 Gold Crown Award, Pasadena Arts Council

PUBLIC AND PRIVATE COLLECTIONS
Albertina, Vienna, Austria • Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, California • Laguna Art Museum, Laguna Beach • California Palm Springs Art Museum, California • Schauwerk Sindelfingen, Germany • UCI Institute and Museum for California Art, Irvine, California • Thomas Olbricht, me Collectors Room, Berlin Herbert & Rita Batliner, Liechtenstein • Steve Martin, Beverly Hills, CA • Dean Koontz, Los Angeles, CA • Charles Simonyi, Portland, OR • Tony Jonas, Los Angeles, CA • Kevin Sharer, Los Angeles, CA • Vivian & Howard Krepak, Beverly Hills, CA • Brian Grazer, Los Angeles, CA • Erika Glazer, Los Angeles, CA • Ralph Kent Cooke, Lexington, KY • Microsoft, NY • David Geffen, Los Angeles, CA • James and Pam Muzzy, Newport Beach, CA • Jim & Ann Gianopolis, CA • Reed Halladay, Los Angeles, CA • Donald Kushner, Los Angeles, CA • Bob Crais, Los Angeles, CA



PERIODICALS AND TEXTS
2013Looseleaf, Victoria, “American Life Remembered: Kenton Nelson’s Comfort Art,” Artbound KCET, June 19 20132013Caldwell, Carol, “Kenton Nelson: This Side of Paradise,” Nashville Arts Magazine, May 20132007Weinzierl, Gudrun, “Osterausstellungen bei Ruzicska und Ropac: Kenton Nelson, Francisco Clemente,”Salzburger Nachrichten, April 2007“Kenton Nelson,” Kronen Zeitung, April 2007“Kenton Nelson,” Top of Salzburg, April 2007Bubendorfer, Cay, “Die Kunst des Augenblicks,” Die Presse, April 20072005Haggerty, Gerard, “R. Kenton Nelson,” Art News, December 2005Woodward, Josef, “Full Nelson Effect,” ArtsScene, December 2005“R. Kenton Nelson,” American Art Collector, October 2005“Kenton Nelson,” Wirtschafts-Magazin, August, 2005“Full Nelson,” Hemispheres, March 2005Parks, John A., “A Peaceable Kingdom: The Paintings of R. Kenton Nelson,” American Artist, February 20052004Mahler, Richard, “Pool Party,” Southwest Art, July 20042003Thomson Randall, Teri, “Glorifying the Utterly Ordinary,” Pasatiempo, December 20032002Cline, Lynn, “Nelson’s World,” Pasatiempo, May 20022001Kolpas, Norman, “Perfect Worlds,” Southwest Art, March 20012000Jarrett, Dennis, “Picture Perfect,” Santa Fe Reporter, May 20001999Turner, Nancy Kay, “R. Kenton Nelson,” ArtScene, March 1999Turner, Grady T., “R. Kenton Nelson,” ArtNews, February 19991996Moure, Nancy, “Southern California,” Southwest Art, March 1996

BOOKS AND CATALOGUES
2019Water: Californian Idealism, Prospect Park Books2017American Artist Kenton Nelson Documentary: Working on Art,featuring photographs by Erwin Darmali2015Californian Idealism: Paintings by Kenton NelsonBakersfield Museum of Art, Bakersfield, California2013Obstacles and Competition, exhibition catalogue, Sparda-Bank2009Kenton Nelson, exhibition catalogue, Galerie Haas AG2008Present Tense, Mendenhall/RuzicskaRot Red Rouge, exhibition catalogue, Residenzgalerie SalzburgKenton Nelson, exhibition catalogue, Galerie Michael Haas2005Rhyme and Reason/ Prose and Cons, Morton Court Publishing1998Picturing a Perfect World, R. Kenton Nelson1996The Grand Metropolis, exhibition catalogue, Mendenhall Gallery1995Short Stories, exhibition catalogue, Mendenhall Gallery1994Lupita’s Perfect Day, exhibition catalogue, Mendenhall Gallery



WORK FEATURED IN FILMS AND TELEVISION
The New Normal, Season 1: 2012, Fox Television
Something’s Gotta Give: 2003, Jack Nicholson, Diane Keaton
What Women Want: 2000, Mel Gibson, Helen Hunt
The Parent Trap: 1998, Lindsay Lohan, Dennis Quaid
Father of the Bride Part II: 1995, Steve Martin, Diane Keaton

Biography

Being raised in a middle-class home and living my entire life in Southern California utterly informs the way I see and depict the world in my artwork. “Vacation” for my family was camping for six weeks at a local beach because my parents found it was an inexpensive way to amuse four children. (Dad also loved the beach and was an excellent body surfer.) Summertime brought a longing for an invitation to a neighbor’s turquoise kidney-shaped swimming pool. We knew who had the pools by the reflections of the water in the eaves or the sound of the springs of a diving board. Satisfaction was achieved by running through sprinklers until our lime-green, newly mown lawn was oversaturated. Refreshment was a garden hose away, or perhaps it was the sound of a splash in a swimming pool. It was a Rainbird, the smell of the ocean, water on asphalt, or the taste of Kool-Aid in an aluminum or Tupperware glass.

Life in California in the postwar world of my youth was a promise of a magnificent future, with dreams of prosperity and perfection. Our culture was one of health, rockets, Disneyland, and surf. Scores of summer days were lost to sitting in a tree with a friend and waiting for the local “European” mom to sunbathe with her top off, only to eventually learn that the rumor of the hopeful vision would never be realized.

Now, through my work, I am able to heighten the reality of an invented scene and create my own rumors and common and sublime scenes, set outside of politics, social status, and time.

My history frames my Social Idealism, depicting California’s culture and traditions with a distilled vision of my lifetime and memories. In my artwork, I am forever trying to compose “a place I would rather be.” With every long, hot summer, we were always restored with water—whether we were consuming it or it was consuming us.

Immerse yourself: Water is the cool shadow to a sunlit optimism.