“Nate Young views history as a framework for the production of truth and makes conceptual works that explore themes of legibility and meaning. His recent projects incorporate family lore with histories of the Great Migration and evade straightforward narrative in favor of subjective interpretation and ephemeral impressions. Young endeavors to collapse the past and future into the present moment, inviting the viewer to join his enigmatic pursuit.” – Mia Lopez, Independent Curator, Chicago
“Young’s narrative focusing on his family, as well as combining the past and the future to create the present is an exciting next step in his career. His bringing together of Afro-pessimism and Black optimism to create a narrative that is right for him is admirable and I am excited for the visualization of his next body of work.” – Jade Powers, Assistant Curator, The Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art
Nate Young received his B.A. from Northwestern College, Saint Paul, MN in 2004. He earned his M.F.A. from the California Institute of the Arts and completed a residency at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in 2009. Young’s recent solo exhibitions include A Tale of Today, The Driehaus Museum, Chicago, IL (2020), The Transcendence of Time, Monique Meloche Gallery, Chicago, IL (2020); (re)collection), The DePree Art Center at Hope College, Holland, MI (2020); …WELL!, Julius Caesar, Chicago (2019); and Cleromancy, monique meloche (2018). His work has been included in numerous group shows including; The Long Dream, MCA, Chicago, IL (2021), FRONT International: Cleveland Triennial of Contemporary Art (2018); Four Saints in Three Acts, DePaul Art Museum, Chicago, (2017); Chicago Invites Chicago, Galerie Lelong, New York (2016); Retreat, curated by Theaster Gates, Richard Gray Gallery, Chicago (2014). He is represented by Monique Meloche Gallery in Chicago.
Using strategies of Conceptualism, Nate Young investigates the nature of identity on an ontological level. His work highlights how meaning, embedded in the aesthetic of objects, resides within fragile networks and contextual systems. Young’s recent ongoing project observes his family lineage, detailing the fissures found in his grandmother’s stories about his great grandfather and his horse. Excavating these familial accounts connects his practice to the gaps found in larger, related histories, presenting these connections through drawing, sculpture, video, and immersive installations that utilize sound, absence of light, and sculpture to project a narrative void.
Nate Young is the 2021 recipient of The Joyce Foundation Artadia Award.