Arena for Contemporary African, African-American and Caribbean Art

Nathaniel Donnett






Not just fitting end, 2010.






Her work is in the group show ‘Right Here, Right Now: Houston’ in the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston.
From August 23 till November 30 (see below)






Donnett3No white tees, 2013.

My work investigates the human behavioral relationships between the collective and individual consciousness and perception of the self, psychosocial concerns, and the sociopolitical relationships that shape them. Formally I work in mixed media drawings paintings, installation, sculpture, and performance using everyday materials, objects, and participatory actions, along with African American cultural frameworks as conceptual and optical devices to comment on the contemporary human condition, everyday experience, art history, and contemporary art.

Donnett4The evidence of things not seen, 2013.

The subjects I wish to explore in my work don’t solely comment or rely on art formal issues unto itself but rather attempt to reach into the lives of everyday people while also creating spaces for unpredictable outcomes, question, critique, appreciate, and examine different positions in society as it relates to the past, present, and future. This grants me the freedom to reconstruct meaning of a given material while shifting through references of space and time, fluctuating means of communication, and social critique.

Donnett2How can you love me and hate me at the same time, 2011.

Nathaniel Donnett lives and works in Houston, Texas and studied at Texas Southern University. Donnett was awarded artist in residence along with a solo exhibition at Redline Milwaukee in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 2013 . He is also an award recipient of the 2011 Houston Arts Alliance Established Individual art grant recipient, 2011 Idea Art Fund supported by the Andy Warhol Foundations of the Visual Arts, 2010 Artadia Award and a 2009 Tiffany Louis Comfort grant nominee. Donnett has exhibited at the Contemporary Arts Museum in Houston, Lawndale Art Center, Project Row Houses, Texas Southern University Museum, The New Museum, New York, New York, The National Museum in Lima, Peru and The Modern Museum of Peru with an upcoming solo shows at the Contemporary Arts Museum of Houston and the Mattatuck Museum in Westbury Connecticut. Donnett has also participated in a musical performance choreographed by Donald Byrd titled Bhandra Fever at the Wortham Theater in Houston. His work is currently available at Kavi Gupta gallery in Chicago, Illinois and Morton Fine Art in Washington, D.C.

Donnett8Scotomas are larger than they appear.

About the exhibtion.
Right Here, Right Now: Houston
Right Here, Right Now: Houston, the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston showcases artists living in the city and celebrates our region’s vibrant creative community. Houston has been a lively breeding ground for artistic innovation for decades now and is increasingly considered a global art center alongside New York, Los Angeles, London, and more recently, Berlin. The Houston of today is a globally networked city where a manageable cost of living and affordable studio space allows innovators to maintain practices at a highly professional level without having to sacrifice international recognition or an excellent quality of life. Right Here, Right Now: Houston is a dynamic portrait of the artistic developments taking shape in studios across this city and features solo presentations of work by Houston-based artists Debra Barrera, Nathaniel Donnett, and Carrie Marie Schneider. It marks the beginning of an occasional and ongoing series through which the museum will investigate localized artistic practices.
About Debra Barrera: Avalon
In Avalon, Debra Barrera’s ongoing exploration of the very human desire for escape is explored in drawing, installation, and objects. In her earliest mature works, she focused on modes of transportation combined with cinema—both methods of getting outside of or away from one’s present circumstances. She identifies far way places real and unreal, accessible and impossible, and provides hints of how we can get there from wherever we are. In this installation, drawings of unlikely escapes, such as the puff of smoke the Wicked Witch used to vanish in the Wizard of Oz, are mixed with motorcycle helmets and taxi lights that all but declare “get me out of here.” The installation employs the real exits of CAMH using pink and black, respectively, to make the existing emergency exit and trap door appear to promise alternative escape routes. The title Avalon refers to an imaginary place that derives from our shared mythic histories, which when sung by Bryan Ferry in Roxy Music’s Avalon, was the perfect location for unreal romance.
About Nathaniel Donnett: Nothing to See Hear
Nathiel Donnett_Drumstick Batons  for CAMHDrumstick Batons, 2014.
Nathaniel Donnett’s Nothing to See Hear is an investigation into how sound and light can create a space of remembrance and meditation. Through the use of minimalist gestures, Donnett has created an immersive environment that integrates light, sound, sculpture, and works on paper that give visibility to the contemporary portrayals of resistance and protest, loss and mourning. Donnett pays homage to the numerous men and women who have died while placing themselves on the front line for justice. His installation functions as a visual eulogy to their sacrifice as well as a conscious and thought provoking call toward social awareness.
About Carrie Marie Schneider: Incommensurate Mapping
For this exhibition, Carrie Marie Schneider has created architectural models of CAMH that stage a variety of conceptual, social, archival, structural, and imagined possibilities for the Museum. Each model builds on CAMH’s iconic parallelogram footprint, which opened in 1972 and was designed by Gunnar Birkerts, and considers aspects of CAMH’s place within Houston’s broader cultural fabric. With their variety of scales, diverse media, and aesthetic sensibilities, these speculative models “situate the Museum within webs of broader organizational and intellectual concerns to investigate CAMH’s wider cultural function, its place in the city, and the space it provides for art(ists),” says Schneider. Her polyphonic display is “full of possibilities and informed by survival creativity, good humor, desperate imagination, and the political charge to project a future forward. The models operate in the funky overlap where we envision and build a new world while we still occupy this one.”
Right Here, Right Now: Houston will be accompanied by a catalogue featuring essays by Bill Arning and Dean Daderko on the work of Debra Barrera and Carrie Marie Schneider, respectively, an interview by Valerie Cassel Oliver with Nathaniel Donnett, color and black-and-white illustrations of the artists’ work, and a biography on each artist.
This catalogue is made possible by a grant from The Brown Foundation, Inc.
Donnett9Sweeten the Deal, 2011.