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Reuben Nakian

BIOGRAPHY

1897-1986

Reuben Nakian, born August 10, 1897 in College Point, New York enjoyed a long and distinguished career, maintaining his innovative spirit and creativity over more than seventy years, constantly rethinking and revising his modes of sculptural expression and exploring and mastering new media: marble, clay, plaster, metal, paper, and, in his last years, styrofoam.
     
Nakian received honorary doctorates from the Universities of Nebraska (1969) and Bridgeport (1972); medals from the Philadelphia College of Art (1967) and the American Academy/National Institute of Arts and Letters (1973); and the Skowhegan Medal for Sculpture (1983). He was the recipient of awards from the Connecticut Commission on the Arts (1979), Brandeis University (1977), and the Rhode Island School of Design (1979).

Nakian was a guest of honor at the “Famous Artists’ Evening” at the White House (1966), and the Smithsonian Institution produced a documentary on his life and work titled “Reuben Nakian: Apprentice to the Gods,” (1985). He was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1931 and a Ford Foundation Fellowship in 1958, and he represented the Unites States as the major sculptor in the VI Bienal in Sao Paulo, Brazil (1961) and the 1968 Biennale in Venice, Italy.
     
Nakian’s work is represented in the permanent collections and sculpture gardens of many of America’s most prestigious museum and institutions. He has been honored with major one-man exhibits at the Los Angeles County Museum (1962), the New York Museum of Modern Art (1966), the Hirshhorn Museum, Washington, DC (1981), the Milwaukee Art Museum (1985), the Gulbenkian Centro de Arte Moderna, Lisbon, Portugal (1988), and a Centennial Retrospective at the Reading (PA) Public Museum and the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, DC (1999), the site of Nakian’s first one-man museum exhibition in 1935. “Garden of the Gods I” was one of five sculptures to inaugurate the Metropolitan Museum of Art Roof Garden, while other of his monumental works preside over civic and private settings across America.
     
Reuben Nakian is a major figure in 20th Century art, his long career touching more of American art history than most artists, living or dead. He died on December 4, 1986 in Stamford, Connecticut at the age of eighty-nine, “one of the most distinguished American sculptors of the 20th Century” (New York Times obituary, 12/5/86).

SELECTED SOLO EXHIBITIONS:
Mar, 2014, NAKIAN: The Later Works 1966-1986, Solo Exhibition, Cavalier Galleries, New York, NY
2010, Reuben Nakian, Jack Rutberg Fine Arts Inc., Los Angeles, CA
2005, Reuben Nakian: Terra cottas, 1955-1983, Zabriskie Gallery, New York, NY
2001, Reuben Nakian: Sculpture and Works on Paper, Gremillion & Company Fine Art, Houston, TX
2001, Reuben Nakian, Selections from the Centennial Retrospective, Kouros Gallery, New York, NY
2001, Reuben Nakian, Selections from the Centennial Retrospective, University of Connecticut, Homer Babbidge Library, Storrs, CT
1999, Reuben Nakian, University of Connecticut at Stamford, Art Gallery, Stamford, CT
1999, Reuben Nakian: Centennial Retrospective, The Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
1998, Reuben Nakian: Centennial Retrospective, Reading Public Museum, Reading, PA
1998, Reuben Nakian: The Centennial Year, Kouros Gallery, New York, NY
1997, Reuben Nakian: Working the Image, Stamford Museum & Nature Center, Stamford, CT
1996, Prelude to the Centennial, Kouros Gallery, New York, NY
1994, Reuben Nakian: Nymphs, Goats and Gods, Kouros Gallery, New York, NY
1994, Gremillion & Company Fine Art, Houston, TX
1993, Batuz Foundation, Dresden, Germany
1991, Reuben Nakian, Kouros Gallery, New York, NY
1991, Gremillion & Company Fine Art, Houston, TX
1990, Reuben Nakian: Sculpture and Works on Paper, Trinity Gallery, Atlanta, GA
1990, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
1990, Reuben Nakian, Fundacao Calouste Gulbenkian, Centro de Arte Moderna, Lisbon, Portugal
1990, Reuben Nakian Sculpture, Drawings and Graphics, Mekler Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
1990, Immortals of Antiquity, Belian Art Center, Troy, MI
1990, Reuben Nakian, Galerie Basmadjian, Paris, France
1987, Veranneman Foundation, Kruishoutem, Belgium
1987, Batuz-Siftung, Schaumburg, West Germany
1986, Gremillion & Company Fine Art, Houston, TX
1986, Belian Art Center, Troy, MI
1985, Reuben Nakian: A Retrospective, Hurlbutt Gallery, Greenwich, CT
1985, Reuben Nakian: Sculpture and Drawings, Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee, WI
1985, Reuben Nakian: Sculpture and Works on Paper, DiLaurenti Gallery, New York, NY
1985, Reuben Nakian, Flushing Gallery, Flushing, NY
1985, Reuben Nakian, Stamford Museum and Nature Center, Stamford, CT
1984, Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, Ridgefield, CT
1983, Continuity and Change: The Nakian Tradition, Bergen Community Museum, Paramus, NJ
1983, University of Northern Iowa Gallery of Art, Cedar Falls, IA
1983, Addison/Ripley Gallery, Washington, D.C.
1982, Reuben Nakian: Recent Works, Malborough Gallery, New York, NY
1982, David Settles Gallery, Houston, TX
1981, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.
1981, Mangel Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
1979, Landau/Alexander Gallery,  Los Angeles, CA
1979, Reuben Nakian: Recent Sculpture and Drawings, Hokin Gallery, Chicago, IL
1978, Reuben Nakian: New Sculptures, Gruenebaum Gallery, New York, NY
1977, Reuben Nakian; Drawings & Sculpture, Stamford Museum & Nature Center, Stamford, CT
1975, Graham Gallery, New York, NY
1975, Hurlbutt Gallery, Greenwich, CT
1966, Nakian, Museum of Modern Art, New York NY
1965, Egan Gallery , New York, NY
1964, Egan Gallery , New York, NY
1963, Nakian, Washington Gallery of Modern Art, Washington, D.C.
1962, Reuben Nakian: Sculpture and Drawings, County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA
1962, Reuben Nakian, Egan Gallery, New York, NY
1961, Estados Unidos: Nakian, VI Bienal, Museu de Arte Moderna, Sao Paulo, Brazil
1960, Egan Gallery , New York, NY
1959, Egan Gallery , New York, NY
1958, Nakian, Stewart-Marean Gallery, New York, NY
1955, Egan Gallery , New York, NY
1954, Egan Gallery , New York, NY
1952, Egan Gallery , New York, NY
1950, Egan Gallery , New York, NY
1949, Egan Gallery , New York, NY
1935, Portrait Heads of the Officials of the Present Administration by Nakian, Corcoran Gallery of Art & Downtown Gallery, Washington, D.C. & New York, NY
1934, Babe Ruth, Downtown Gallery, New York, NY
1933, Reuben Nakian: Portraits of 10 Artists, Downtown Gallery, New York, NY
1930, Reuben Nakian, Downtown Gallery, New York, NY

SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS:
Nov, 2016, Cavalier Galleries 30th Anniversary, New York, NY
Jun-Jul, 2016, The New York School: Abstract Expressionism, Cavalier Galleries, Greenwich, CT
Sep-Nov, 2015, Reuben Nakian: The Divine Female Form, New York, NY
Jan-Mar, 2015, Winter Group Show, New York, NY
Nov-Dec, 2014, Special Exhibition – Just off Madison, New York, NY
Mar-Apr, 2014, New York Modernism: 8 Artists of the 1960s, Greenwich, CT
Nov-Dec, 2013, Fall Group Show, Cavalier Galleries, Greenwich, CT
Sep-Oct, 2013, Figurative Group Show, Cavalier Galleries, Greenwich, CT
Feb, 2013, February Group Show, Cavalier Galleries, Greenwich, CT
Nov-Dec, 2012, November Group Show, Cavalier Galleries, Greenwich, CT
Jun-Sep, 2012, Summer Group Show, Cavalier Galleries, Greenwich, CT
Mar, 2012, Black & White, Cavalier Galleries, Greenwich, CT
2009, The Mouse House: Art from The Olga Hirshhorn Collection, Bruce Museum, Greenwich, CT
2006, Two American Classics: Abraham Walkowitz & Reuben Nakian, Gallerie YoramGil, Los Angeles, CA
2006, Inaugural Exhibition, Museo della Scultura Contemporanea Matera, Matera, Italy
2001, Spanierman Gallery, New York, NY
2001, Reuben Nakian, a collaboration with James Jackson Burt, Garth Clark Gallery, New York, NY
1999, Important Sculptors of the Late Twentieth Century, Stamford Town Center, Stamford, CT
1994, Small Scale Sculpture, Works in Bronze, Louis Newman Galleries, Beverly Hills, CA
1994, Sculpture in the Streets, Cavalier Galleries, Stamford, CT
1990, Scultura in America 1990, Ile Biennale Internazionale di Scultura Contemporanea, Matera, Italy
1989, The Art of Style: A Look at Three Sculptors, Vanderwoude/Tananbaum, NY
1987, Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, Ridgefield, CT
1985, Sculptural Expressions: Seven Artists in Metal and Drawing, Sarah Lawrence College, Bronxville, NY
1984, Masters of Modern and Contemporary Sculpture, Marlborough Gallery, New York, NY
1984, Forming, Parrish Art Museum, Southampton, NY
1984, Six Sculptors of the Sixties, Zabriskie Gallery, New York, NY
1983, Live from Connecticut, Whitney Museum of American Art, Fairfield, CT
1983, Portraits from the New Deal, National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.
1981, Gallery 609, Denver, CO
1980, Kirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.
1980, The Figurative Tradition, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY
1980, Sculptors Drawing Over Six Centuries, Drawing Center, New York, NY
1979, 200 Years of American Sculpture, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY
1972, University of Bridgeport, Bridgeport, CT
1968, Nakian, Stati Uniti d’America, XXXIV Biennale di Venezia, Venice, Italy
1967, Sculpture – A Generation of Innovation, Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL
1965, Art in Embassy, U.S. Embassy, Mexico City, Mexico
1965, Actitudes plasticas, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, Mexico City, Mexico
1965, Festival of the Arts, the White House, Washington, D.C.
1965, Roots of Abstract Art in America 1910-1930, National Collection of Fine Arts, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.
1965, Sculptures de XXe Siecle, Musee Rodin, Paris, Berlin and Baden, Germany
1965, University of Bridgeport, Bridgeport, CT
1964, American Drawings, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY
1964, Federal Pavilion, World’s Fair, New York, NY
1963, Open Air Exhibition of British and American Works, Battersea Park, London
1963, Sculptors of Our Time, Gallery of Modern Art, Washington, D.C.
1963, 66th Annual American Exhibition, Art Institute, Chicago, IL
1962, Continuity and Change: 45 American Abstract painters and sculptors, Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, CT
1962, Modern Sculpture from the Hirshhorn Collection, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY
1962, Survey of American Sculpture: late 18th century to 1962, Newark, NJ
1961, Heads by Eight Sculptors, Great Jones Gallery, New York, NY
1959, Recent Sculpture, U.S.A., Museum of Modern ARt, New York, NY
1949, Annual Exhibition of Contemporary American Sculpture, Watercolors and Drawings Whitney Museum of American Art , New York, NY
1944, Kelekian as the Artist Sees Him, Durand-Ruel Galleries, New York, NY
1939, Art in Our Time, Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY
1939, Twentieth Century Artists, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY
1939, Half a century of American Art, Art Institute , Chicago, IL
1938, Modern American and European Sculpture, Modern Art Gallery, Washington, D.C.
1938, Trois Siecles d’Art aux Etats-Unis, Musee de Jeu de Paume, Paris, France
1936, The Art of Today, Albright-Knox Gallery, Buffalo, NY
1936, First and Second Biennial of Contemporary American Sculpture, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY
1935, 46th Annual Exhibition of American Paintings and Sculpture, Art Institute, Chicago, IL
1935, George Overbury “Pop” Hart, Museum, Newark, NJ
1934, First Municipal Art Exhibtion of New York Artists, The Forum, RCA Building, Rockefeller Center, New York, NY
1934, 129th Annual Exhibition, Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA
1933, Work of Artist Fellows of the Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY
1933, Century of Progress Exhibition of Paintings and Sculpture, Art Institute, Chicago, IL
1933, First Biennial exhibition of contemporary American Sculpture, Watercolors and Prints, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY
1932, Exhibition of American Society of Painters, Sculptors, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY
1930, 33 Moderns, Grand Central Gallery, New York, NY
1930, Painters and Sculptors under 35, Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY
1929, 42nd Annual Exhibition of American Painting and Sculpture, Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL
1926, Reuben Nakian and Bob Chandler, Whitney Studio Club, New York, NY
1926, Exhibition of the Tri-National Art, Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY
1924, 37th Annual Exhibition of American Painting and Sculpture, Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL
1923, Anderson Galleries, New York, NY
1923, Spring Salon, Salons of America, New York, NY
1923, Paintings by John Dos Passos and Adelaide Lawson; Sculpture by Reuben Nakian, Whitney Studio Club, New York, NY
1922, Autumn Salon, Salons of America, New York, NY

COLLECTIONS:
Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY
Arizona State University Art Museum, Tempe, AZ
University of Arizona, Edward J. Gallagher Memorial Collection, Tucson, AZ
Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL
Australian National Gallery, Canberra, Australia
Boca Raton Museum of Art, Boca Raton, FL
Brigham Young University, Provo, UT
The Canadian Museum, University of Lethbridge Art Gallery, Alberta, Canada
Contemporary Art Center, Cincinnati, Ohio
Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
DeCordova Museum and Sculpture Garden, Lincoln, MA
Delaware Art Museum, Wilmington, De
Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit, MI
Everson Museum of Art, Syracuse, NY
Solomon P. Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY
Franklin D. Murphy Sculpture Garden, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA
Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, Centro de Arte Moderna, Lisbon, Portugal
Harvard University Art Museums, Cambridge, MA
High Museum, Atlanta, GE
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.
Honolulu Academy of Arts, Honolulu, Hawaii
Housatonic Museum of Art, Bridgeport, CT
Museum of Fine Arts of Houston, Houston, TX
University of Houston, University Park, Houston, TX
Irving Art Center, Irving, TX
University of Lethbridge Art Gallery, Alberta, Canada
Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA
McNay Art Museum, San Antonio, TX
Alex and Marie Manoogian Museum, Southfield, MI
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY
University of Michigan Museum of Art, Ann Arbor, MI
Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee, WI
Mississippi Museum of Art, Jackson, MI
Museo della Scultura Contemporanea, Matera, Italy
Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY
Nassau County Museum of Art, Roslyn Harbor, NY
National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.
Neuberger Museum of Art, State University of New York, Purchase, NY
New York University, New York, NY
Newark Museum, Newark, NJ
City of Norwalk, Norwalk, CT
University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, IA
Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA
Pierpont Morgan Library, New York, NY 
Portland Museum of Art, Portland, MA
Reading Public Museum, Reading, PA
St. Joseph College Art Museum, West Hartford, CT
St. Vartan Armenian Cathedral, New York, NY
Sacred Heart University, Fairfield, CT
Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE
Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, NY
The Snite Museum of Art, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN
Spencer Museum of Art, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS
Stamford Museum and Nature Center, Stamford, CT
City of Stamford, Stamford, CT
Stanford University, Iris and Gerald Cantor Center for Visual Arts, Stanford, CA
State Theater, Lincoln Center, New York, NY
Utah State University, Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Art, Logan, UT
Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, CT
Walker Art Center, Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, Minneapolis, MN
Weatherspoon Art Gallery, University of North Carolina, Greensboro, NC
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY
William Benton Museum of Art, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT
Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, CT

AWARDS:
1983, Skowhegan Medal for Sculpture
1979, Excellence in Sculpture, Connecticut Commission on the Arts
1979, President's Fellow Award, Rhode Island School of Design
1977, Brandeis University Creative Arts Award
1973, Award of Merit Medal for Sculpture, American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters
1972, Honorary Doctorate, University of Bridgeport
1969, Honorary Doctorate, University of Nebraska
1968, U.S. Representative, Venice Biennale
1967, Gold Medal, Philadelphia College of Art
1965, White House Festival of the Arts, Invitational Exhibition, Washington, D.C
1965, Sculptures de XXe Siècle, Museé Rodin, Paris; West Germany, Mexico
1963, Open Air Exhibition of British and American Work, Battersea Park, London
1961, U.S. Representative, VI Bienal, São Paulo, Brazil
1958, Ford Foundation Fellowship
1938, Trois Siècles d'Art aux Etats-Unis, Museé de Jeu de Paume, Paris
1933, Official Portraitist, Roosevelt Administration
1931-32, Guggenheim Fellowship