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Biography

Nathan Margalit has a long and distinguished career as both a professional artist and studio arts professor.  His work is displayed in public and private collections in the US, South Africa, Canada, Australia and Germany.

For the past several years, Nathan has devoted his time exclusively to developing a body of work that extends his understanding of what is possible in the realm of painted encaustic collage.

U.S.

In 1986, Nathan moved to the US to take a visiting appointment at Amherst College.  After Amherst College, he exhibited regularly throughout the Northeastern US and was associated with the studio arts programs at Trinity College and Mount Holyoke College for many years.  Nathan has led talks and workshops at institutions such as the Yale Center for British Art and the Wadsworth Athenaeum.

South Africa

In South Africa, his country of origin, Nathan was included in the nationally selected Cape Town Biennial and Triennial exhibitions.  He was also commissioned by the South African National Gallery to produce a significant work for their collection.

As a tenured studio arts professor, Nathan served as the Head of Foundation Studies at the Michaelis School of Fine Art, University of Cape Town.   He also served as a printmaker and mentor for the Nyanga art center.  Nathan was included in the landmark BMW ‘Tributaries’ exhibition – a contemporary view of South African Art which travelled throughout South Africa and Germany.

Reflections on my work

Creating a work, and then describing the creative process, presents a challenge that has only increased with the passage of time.  The reason for this might lie in the way that contradiction has folded itself into my manner of working.

‘Contradiction’ is one of the established guideposts of the modern movement.  As such, it is one of the building blocks of an aesthetic zeitgeist introduced at the start of the 20th century through Cubism’s use of collage.   The idea of gathering unrelated ‘ready-made’ paper fragments such as wallpaper or newspaper and co-opting these as legitimate painting materials continues to be an inspiring prompt in my work.

This sense of contradiction is expressed in the ‘tug of war’ between the chief elements of my collage-paintings.  First, the acceptance of a recognizable object serving as a basis and armature around which the painting is built.  Second, a belief in the intellectual and expressive truth of the abstract gesture and mark.

The goal of each work is to combine both these artistic vocabularies in such a way that they serve to enhance one another in revealing, more fully, the nature and qualities of the objects depicted.

There are also the important considerations of the ‘artist’s hand’: a steadfast belief that a painting is a hand-made object, and that a strong sense of materials, its ‘materiality’, is the principal carrier of thought and meaning in the work.

I indulge both these aspects of picture-making. That is, the physical act of painting/collaging and the sensory impact that art materials exercise over the evolution and direction of a work. The surfaces used in these painted collages are assorted papers and re-used book pages, prepared in a range of mixed media. The encaustic process is a wax-based painting medium, welcoming of improvisational trains of thought and response along with its surface richness and quality of color.

Education

M.F.A. Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore, MD
B.A. Art Michaelis School of Fine Art, University of Cape Town, South Africa
Cert. Graphic Design, Michaelis School of Fine Art, University of Cape Town

Exhibitions

Solo and 2 Person Shows

2019Nathan Margalit: New Work
PULP Gallery, 80 Race Street, Holyoke MA

2013My Nature Theater of Oklahoma – collage paintings
A.P.E. Gallery, Northampton, MA

2010Margalit and Smith / Paintings and Sculpture
Widener Gallery, Department of Fine Arts, Trinity College, Hartford, CT

2007States of Departure / Paintings
Rabinowitz Gallery, Slifka Center, Yale University, New Haven, CT

2004Paintings/Meditations
55 Mercer Gallery, Mercer Street, New York, NY 10013

2001Setting Sail – Encaustic Paintings
Allan and Leah Rabinowitz Gallery, Slifka Center, Yale University, New Haven, CT

1999Eye-Poems – Encaustic works on canvas, paper and wood
Drury Gallery, Marlboro College, Marlboro, VT

1999Poems and Narratives
South Gallery, Greenfield Community College, Greenfield, MA

1999Commentaries – Works on paper, wood and canvas
SEE Gallery, Springfield, MA

1996Spirit to form – Encaustic Works
Arno Maris Gallery, Westfield State College, Westfield, MA

1995Fragments – Paintings and works on paper
Widener Gallery, Trinity College, Hartford, CT

1992Had Gadya – Portfolio exhibition of woodcut prints
Gallery of Fine Arts, Amherst, MA

1989Constructions/Drawings/Prints
Chameleon Gallery, Baltimore, MD

1987Works on Paper/Works on Wood
Mead Art Museum, Amherst College, Amherst, MA

1984Drawings and Constructions
Gallery International, Cape Town, South Africa

Group Exhibitions

2019Dress Rehearsal: Inaugural exhibition of works by gallery artists
PULP Gallery, 80 Race Street, Holyoke MA

2013Faculty Exhibition
Widener Gallery, Department of Fine Arts, Trinity College, Hartford, CT

2012Artists and the Noble Profession
Mount Holyoke College Art Museum, South Hadley, MA

2008On The Edge – A juried show of new work in encaustic
301 Gallery, Montserrat College Art, Beverly, MA

2007Arts of the Valley 2007
Open Square, Holyoke, MA

2006Talking Back – Faculty Show
Mount Holyoke College Art Museum, South Hadley, MA

20032003 North American Print Exhibition
Boston University, 808 Gallery, Boston, MA

2001Contemporary South African Art 1985 – 1995 from the South African National Gallery Permanent Collection
South African National Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa

2001Opening Celebration – Inaugural show
Broad Street Gallery, Trinity College, Hartford, CT

1999Faculty Exhibition
Cummings Arts Center, Connecticut College, New London, CT

1999Colleagues – Faculty Show
Mount Holyoke College Art Museum, South Hadley, MA

1998Gallery Group Show
See Gallery, Springfield, MA

1998Poetry of Painting
R. Michelson Galleries, Amherst, MA

1998One by One
Puffin Foundation Gallery, Teaneck, NJ

1997One by One
Main Gallery, Hampshire College, Amherst, MA

1997Mother Tongue/A Visual Dialogue
University of Southern Maine, ME

1995Bowery Invitational Show
Bowery Gallery, New York, NY

1994Mother Tongue/A Visual Dialogue
The Canal Gallery, Holyoke, MA

1993Figure Drawing
Fine Arts Gallery, Springfield Technical College, Springfield, MA

1992Three Unlike Painters
Ho/Ho The Canal Gallery, Holyoke, MA

1991Personal Mythologies
Arno Maris Gallery, Westfield State College, Westfield, MA

1990Visual AIDS
The Museum for Contemporary Arts, Baltimore, MD

1990Voices from South Africa – Contemporary art against Apartheid
Stuart Levy Gallery, New York, NY

19896 Out Of 5 – Five College Faculty
Hampshire College Gallery, Amherst, MA

1988Faculty Show
Mead Art Museum, Amherst College, Amherst, MA

1985Tributaries: Contemporary South African Art
Johannesburg and Germany

1985Cape Town Triennial
South African National Gallery and traveling in South Africa

1985Art for Peace / End Conscription Campaign
Baxter Theater, University of Cape Town

1985PAPER works by Cape Artists, Poets, Musicians
S.A. Association of Arts, South Africa

1984Artists Guild Festival Exhibition
S.A. Association of Arts, C.T.

Public Presentations

2012Silent Collage: Improvisational workshop with Wendy Woodson
Theatre and Dance Department, Amherst College, Amherst, MA

2012/10Outside Evaluator
Marlboro College, Marlboro, VT

2012Gallery Talk Series: Art, Artists, and Creativity on Campus
Mount Holyoke College Art Museum, South Hadley, MA

2009Encaustic Collage Painting
Montserrat College of Art, Beverly, MA

2008Encaustic Collage Painting
Materials and process helping to shape meaning. Second National Conference of Encaustic Painting.
Montserrat College of Art, Beverly, MA

2007Gallery Talk
Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, CT

2005The Unexpected Image
Print workshop, Printmaking studios, Yale University in conjunction with Whistler etchings: The Naval Review.
Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, CT

2004Printmaking ‘Conversations’
Two workshops conducted at the Yale Printmaking Studios in conjunction with the Richard Hamilton Retrospective Exhibition
Yale Center for British Art, Yale University, New Haven, CT

2002Portraits in Form/Portraits in Words
Interdisciplinary ‘Visual and Written response’ Collaborative workshop with Poet/Visual Artist Nina Payne in connection with the Paula Rego Exhibition: Celestina’s House
Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, CT

2000Reading Between the Lines
The written word and visual image as text, collaborative workshop with Nina Payne
Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, CT

1999Hidden and Revealed
Origins and sources of a painter Presentation
Department of Fine Art, Connecticut College, New London, CT

1999Poetry and Prose as Visual Form
An alternative model for looking at the visual arts. Collaborative project with Poet/Visual Artist, Nina Payne.
Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, CT

1999Poems and Narratives
Presentation
Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore, MD

1999Collaborative Drawing Project
With Dancer/Painter, Susan Sugar
Amherst College, Department of Theater and Dance

1996Through the Looking Glass
Series of three lecture/demonstrations, examining prints and the printmaking process
Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, CT

1995Medium and Expression
Contemporary Art Lecture Series. Three lecture/demonstrations examining the relationship between medium and artwork
Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, CT

1995Drawing
Gallery talk and studio demonstration
Wadworth Atheneum, Hartford, CT

1992Lines/Curves
Interdisciplinary, collaborative workshop with Videographer and Performance Artist, Wendy Woodson
Amherst College Theater and Dance Department

1991“A Better Moustrap”
Innovative Teaching Strategies in the Studio Arts, Panelist
College Art Association Conference, Washington, DC

1988“Kwanele which means Enough”
Curated exhibition of prints by black South African artists from the township of Nyanga, Cape Town
Eli Marsh Gallery, Amherst College, Amherst, MA

1986Visiting Critic, Painting
Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore, MD

Public and Private Collections

South African National Gallery, Cape Town, S.A.
University of Cape Town, South Africa
Trinity College, Hartford, CT
Museum of Contemporary Art, Baltimore, MD
Amherst Arts Council Collection, MA

Individual Collectors

United States, Canada, Australia, Israel, Germany and South Africa

Print Portfolio

Had Gadya/Only One Kid – A Passover Poem
Portfolio of 10 woodcut prints based on a traditional Aramaic poem ‘Had Gadya’ – ‘Only One Kid’. This limited 1991 edition of 36 was printed at Wild Carrot Letterpress on Aches 200 gram Paper. Each portfolio includes a set of 10 woodcut prints, a Title Page (printed in gold and black) and Colophon. All 12 pages are presented in a custom-made full cloth box.

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