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R ALP H N AG E L Being There

bruno david gallery


October 4 - November 17, 2018 Bruno David Gallery 7513 Forsyth Boulevard Saint Louis, Missouri 63105, U.S.A. info@brunodavidgallery.com www.brunodavidgallery.com Owner/Director: Bruno L. David This catalogue was published in conjunction with the exhibition “Ralph Nagel: Being There” at Bruno David Gallery. Editor: Bruno L. David Catalogue Designer: Jin Xia and Lauren R. Mann Designer Assistant: Claudia R. David Printed in USA All works courtesy of Ralph Nagel and Bruno David Gallery Photographs by Ralph Nagel studio and Bruno David Gallery Cover image: Maid Cottage, Waterford Castle, 2018 Acrylic on panel 48 x 60 inches (121.92 x 152.40 cm) First Edition Copyright © 2018 Bruno David Gallery All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written permission of Bruno David Gallery




Leslie Laskey is a St. Louis-based artist and is a professor Emeritus of Architecture at Washington University. This text is one in a series of the gallery’s exhibitions written by fellow gallery artists and friends.





It’s a pleasure to delve deeper into the paintings and, through them, the psyche of Ralph Nagel. I’ve known him as one of our University’s most accomplished architecture alumni, as a successful businessman, strategic thinker, and entrepreneur, but I’ve always followed with interest his work as an artist and his passion for painting. I know it takes a tremendous amount of commitment to slow down enough to focus and balance such diverse interests, most especially when working in the plein-air tradition, with all the logistical challenges of painting in the field. While painting, Ralph experiences the physical world through careful observation, which meshes with his constant curiosity to see things anew and to bring fresh ideas to the table. Likewise, when working to the sounds of jazz in the studio, he allows each painting to find itself in the process. His willingness to improvise and respond to change is reflected in visual twists and turns, the “push and pull” of the space that he so fully respects and even plans for. It becomes apparent that each painting has a particular rigor. Regardless of the subject, there is a consistent sense of energy, observation and wonder. In fact, it seems that, whatever notion of simplicity Ralph begins with, he ends up wresting it into twisted, entangled forms that together form a larger network: a whole composition. Intense light and attention to negative spaces play a critical role in the structure and composition of each painting, most often featuring vivid translucent colors, diverse textures and a plethora of details. However, Ralph isn’t fussy but rather facile: each mark seems to dance across the canvas or paper with a sense of purpose and intentionality. Nuances are important to him, but he’s not afraid to fail, and there is a confidence that he can make the picture work; if not, he’ll simply move on. He carries this attitude and philosophy into his life, where he highly encourages risk, experimentation and innovation. Nagel’s mantra is that art has the potential to elevate or denigrate the best and worst in society. With such power, art has a weighty influence upon people and culture. His philosophy transcends many boundaries and manifests in a range of activities that support many diverse communities, often reflecting the powerful role that art and his design education have played in his life. In fact, Ralph’s generosity has made it possible for thousands of low-income students to study art. He’s a dedicated advocate for higher education, saying that, “students of all ages, who are prepared with a renaissance range of knowledge, experiences, and successful collaboration, are better able to go forward to create public environments which are living, connected, and vibrant places.” Nagel’s work embodies these ideals and is visual evidence of his wondering and creative spirit. His work as a painter reveals some consistent themes and sensibilities—ones that are authentic to his own struggle and his intention to find harmony and meaning through a metaphysical relationship to nature and to the world.

Carmon Colangelo is a St. Louis-based artist and the Ralph J Nagel Dean of the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts at Washington University in St. Louis. This text is one in a series of the gallery’s exhibitions written by fellow gallery artists and friends. 9



Ralph Nagel has made it a practice to challenge conventional thinking in his business and philanthropic life. I first met him around 2007, when he was a trustee of the university where I worked. He’d made two very sizable, unsolicited donations for visual art projects; both produced positive results and one also reflected his willingness to confront in order to make positive changes. I worked with him directly on the smaller of the two projects, with which we acquired 40 original artworks to fill shared spaces in a new residence hall that Ralph and Trish also funded. Many of the artists selected were friends, teachers and fellow plein-air painters with Ralph, most working in loosely impressionistic styles. Even at this early stage in Ralph’s growing commitment to painting, he was very open to adding a number of highly expressionistic and abstract pieces, though these were outside his own vocabulary as a painter. Because the project involved no academic departments (and no one paid much attention to what we were doing!), the whole thing was fun, creative, and successful. Meanwhile, Ralph had also provided a seven-figure challenge for expansion of studio art facilities, requiring the institution to match every dollar. As a result, students now enjoy over 50% more studio space, with vastly improved light, equipment, and air. This gift nearly provoked a revolt among a few faculty members (who objected to donor “interference”!), and caused years of grumbling among administrators who were forced, for a few months, to work at raising a small portion of the budget (the rest came from existing funds committed by the administration). Ralph, with a goal clearly in mind, had successfully overcome the institution’s mindset, to the benefit of its students. Despite the ease with which Ralph has attacked the status quo in such cases, and the successful innovations of his meteoric business career, I appreciate the difficulty he’s had in altering another kind of pattern—the prison that each of us tends to build around a professional life. Being There celebrates Ralph’s transition from the career he’s enjoyed up to now (architect, businessman, philanthropist), to another kind of life, in which he identifies as an artist. He will doubtless continue in each of those earlier capacities, but this transition in identity and daily practice is a difficult one, and it’s something to celebrate. I also grapple, like many of my friends and associates, with this same challenge of identity and life trajectory. I hope that we can all share to some degree in the discipline that has brought Ralph to this point of new potential. His increasingly calligraphic explorations, to me at least, represent the developing freedom and flow of his newly expanded existence. I will look forward to seeing the work that emerges from this new chapter.

Dan Jacobs is a Denver-based writer, art historian and museum consultant. This text is one in a series of the gallery’s exhibitions written by fellow gallery artists and friends.




Painter Ralph Nagel, whose work comprises Being There at the Bruno David Gallery, has been perfecting his painterly craft for the better part of the last fifteen years. Nonetheless, he still sees himself as evolving and developing as an artist. The exhibit features some of his most recently completed contemporary realist paintings, which are invariably well-composed and finely, if somewhat expressively, executed, with most of them depicting scenes found in nature. Nagel was in his late fifties before he began to paint in earnest, having followed a range of interlocking and overlapping career paths in which he was, in his own words, “embarrassingly successful,” and from which he only recently withdrew enough to more thoroughly focus on his art making. “I spent my whole life paying attention to the needs of my businesses,” Nagel says philosophically, “and now I think it’s time to pay attention to my soul and to my needs.” Nagel was born in the small town of West Chicago, Illinois, in 1945. He describes his family as having been simple country people. Yet, for some reason, at the age of eleven, Nagel decided he wanted to be an architect, although now he’s not sure if he knew what an architect was at the time. This goal would be fulfilled when Nagel went on to earn his Master of Architecture degree at Washington University in Saint Louis, and subsequently, a Master in City Planning and a Master in Urban Design, both from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. His architecture practice led to a career as a developer of large building complexes in which his architecture, design and planning expertise were employed to address myriad issues including not only aesthetic concerns, but community and social factors as well. Meanwhile, Nagel was drawn to create paintings. The act of designing a building is not conceptually unrelated to creating a painting, with both being aesthetic quests to imagine an object and then to realize it. But designing and painting are also very different pursuits. For Nagel painting has the advantage of speed. He notes that going from a sketch to a building takes years, while one of his paintings might only take a day to complete. He also points out how many others have also turned to painting after retiring from their lifetime professions, mentioning Winston Churchill and former president George W. Bush. Nagel knows Bush personally and the two have shared not only their political ideas but have also discussed their respective philosophies of painting. Like Bush, Nagel is essentially self-taught, but also like the ex-president, he has studied with artists and art teachers, both in classes and in one-onone instruction. Among those that Nagel sees as having helped him achieve the level of accomplishment that he has are John Hull, Molly Davis and Boris Shoshensky. Nagel believes his lessons from skilled practitioners were instrumental in his having honed his painterly skills so rapidly, though his incredible drive to create is also an essential component of that quick study process.


One way in which the show’s title Being There resonates is in Nagel’s embrace of the plein-air method, in which the artist records on-site what is observed in nature from a particular vantage point and at a specific time of day (as indicated by the light the artist conveys). The plein-air approach encourages quickness of execution, as does Nagel’s choice of watercolors as his principle large-format medium (he has recently begun to work in the more time-consuming but more forgiving vehicle of acrylic on artist’s board). Many of Nagel’s strokes have an instinctual character to them, resembling abstract painterly moves in the form of arcs and scribbles with large parts of the paintings being all-but-abstractions. However, in spite of this, they wind up being crisply representational at first glance, and thus easily categorized as contemporary realism. To find his subjects, Nagel travels both to places in the U.S., notably Colorado, New Mexico and Hawaii, and to further destinations including France, Spain, Ireland, Croatia and Thailand. For this reason, it might seem that it would make the most sense to look at the works according to where they had been created, especially in light of the exhibit’s title. However, all of Nagel’s landscapes, for instance, have certain shared affinities whether they are depictions of views in Colorado or France. And the same is true for his renderings of lily ponds regardless of where he saw them. Though Nagel has painted a number of different subjects, it is these landscapes and lily ponds that have the critical mass to coalesce into two parallel bodies of signature work, and which together provide the foundation for this exhibit. In explaining his watercolor method, Nagel describes a process that he has developed himself and that differs from standard watercolor techniques. He does not carefully plan or draw out what he is intending to paint, which many view as being essential, because blank, unmarked paper is an important component of a watercolor, and it’s important to know where these “reserves” will remain as the artist is painting. Rather Nagel begins by addressing one area, which he has chosen almost randomly, and then going in and recording what he sees. He afterwards moves to another section of the paper that may be widely separated from the first, and so on, eventually orchestrating them all together so that they resolve into the picture he wants to capture. Nagel’s watercolors are atmospheric, exploiting the insubstantiality of the medium to build his pictures, leading to forms that have soft margins that dissolve as one pictorial element abuts another. These qualities characterizing his watercolors are upended in his rare and recent forays into acrylic on panel. The acrylic paint has a substantiality that is unlike the gauzy watercolor effects. Also, watercolors are essentially a one-shot endeavor, whereas the acrylics can be reworked and this also contributes to the relatively heavier visual weight seen in the acrylics when compared to the watercolors.


These acrylics indicate a future direction, and the fact that they are so distinct from his watercolors reveals Nagel’s ability to adapt to a completely different technical and aesthetic vocabulary as he changes mediums. Then again, it’s also what he has done over the course of his life as he balanced careers as architect, retirement community developer and owner, philanthropist and artist. Ralph Nagel views his three first major solo exhibitions (Loveland Museum/Gallery, Colorado, 2014; Littleton Museum, Colorado, 2014; and Being There, Bruno David Gallery, St. Louis, 2018), as representing something of a bookend for his early art career. But not, as one might imagine, a bookend marking the end of a particular creative arc. Instead, the show represents to him a chance to sum up what he has learned so far, and to thus provide himself with the opportunity for a new beginning as a visual artist.

Michael Paglia is a Denver-based art critic for “Westword”. This text is one in a series of the gallery’s exhibitions written by fellow gallery artists and friends.




The work in this exhibition was made mostly in the past three years and is arranged by the places that artist Ralph Nagel visited in order to paint en plein air—China, Thailand, France, Ireland, and closer to home in New Mexico. Being in these unique locations allows for a variety of focused experiences without the distraction of consuming business projects. Each is a challenge for the artist to be in the place completely and work at exploring painting and image-making in depth, observing and noting the passing of time and changing light, and extracting the essence of the place by focusing on detail and color. In addition to painting in Denver’s own back yard at Roxborough State Park and in northern New Mexico at Ghost Ranch, Ralph has ventured to the far-flung landscapes of Europe and Asia. Watercolor and acrylic paints allow him to paint quickly and spontaneously while painting en plein air during these trips. Nagel’s plein-air paintings tend to be of the smaller, portable size, but back in the studio, images can be repainted in a larger scale. Challenging the artist to paint everyday objects out of scale, as in Breadsticks (57 x 38 in.), offers a way to look again closely at the detail and impact of forms, making what may seem common and trivial take on a greater presence. Hangzhou in China presented a uniquely Asian urban landscape opportunity. With a population of 9.5 million, it’s not unusual for an architect and urban designer to be attuned to how many people live in such a limited area and to observe how this affects their daily activities and relationships. In a sense, this surplus is part of the environment and the life of the city, including the material culture and accoutrements of society, such as the rows and rows of identical religious statues in the market, or the altars piled with offerings, thanks and prayers for a good life. For example, in Hangzhou Pollution, a large altar-like shop display highlights a row of red votive candles and embroidered golden fabric. Both candles and fabric are composed so as to suggest a continuation out of frame. In Ireland, (where Nagel works with a group of fellow artists, and enjoys citizenship as well), he’s painted at the ancestral Waterford castle on an island in the River Suir, near the city where the famous crystal makers established their company in 1783. Gone from the island are the natural extensions of the past–the many servants and farmers supporting a great country estate. Forgotten and abandoned behind the castle, servant’s quarters become the focus of Maid Cottage, Waterford Castle. Built of stone and roofed with slate, the cottage steps descend into muddy, rutted wheel tracks. While repainting the scene in his studio, Ralph reworked certain areas to highlight the servant buildings and an arched gate in the compound wall, and a fortuitous slip of the brush created a reflection in a muddy track puddle. According to the artist, the story and title changed as he changed colors and reworked surfaces, emphasizing certain elements and accepting things that happen by chance and that work.


Fifty miles northwest of Santa Fe, New Mexico, along the Chama River and near Abiquiú Lake and reservoir, is the Ghost Ranch Education and Retreat Center. Established in 1936 as a dude ranch and now an extended learning center, Ghost Ranch sits in one of the most enthralling landscapes in the American Southwest. Made popular in the mid-twentieth century by the work of artist Georgia O’Keeffe, it’s now visited by scores of landscape photographers and plein-air artists. The unique geological features provide an almost unbelievable mix of sculptural forms and earth colors: rust red, pale pink, buff, grey, black and blue-green. In this landscape Ralph has created a spectacular series of watercolors revealing the largest of vistas, as in the watercolor Plaza Blanca Monument, a unique mesa of spiraling forms in shades of grey and white. More intimate, close-up scenes of multi-colored rock forms are set off by desert-like, scattered scrub brush, gnarled trees and sprouting plants. The artist’s presence is felt in the four-part polyptych Time of Day at Tierra Amarilla, where the architect’s skill at rendering the interplay of sculptural forms of a large rock formation is illuminated by the landscape’s color and shadows against clean, hot, white rock surfaces. For the past twenty-plus years Ralph and his wife Trish have enjoyed extended summer visits to southern France and this current series of paintings focuses on the area of Les Baux, a village in southern France’s Provence. The verdant and overflowing gardens of the region were an influence on many painters, including the work of post-Impressionists such as Paul Cézanne and Vincent Van Gogh. These historic landscapes and light continue to attract today’s plein-air artists. In Les Baux Garden Passage, the dense foliage surrounding the almost hidden pathway into a garden gives one the sensation of heat and pungent fragrances, and an invitation to proceed into the shade with the anticipation of something more to be discovered. Further studio work defined and deepened the dense foliage. Venturing to a larger landscape resulted in an expansive view from a hilltop to the valley fields, foothills and far off mountains in Les Baux I. Watercolor renderings of grassy fields, flowers, rock walls and hillsides depict the familiar views surrounding the retreat. With Ralph’s travels in Thailand, the exhibition moves from the broad view of landscape to the more intimate view of water flowers and artifacts. As blooms to be studied singularly and in relationship to others, the flowers in scenes from Phuket reveal their intense color, variety, and leafy structures. Their forms invite us to study the subtle nuances of each bloom’s lifespan, from first blossoming to decay, reminding us also of the passing day, from closed bud at dawn to full display in the afternoon sun. The Phuket paintings also include carved stone heads—artifacts from ancient cultures rich in mythology. They are rendered in their post-archaeological setting, displayed as individual art objects; for the artist, they seem not so much infused with cultural history, instead providing a simple remembrance about the experience of being there.


Flower studies also extend to a series of works of a lily pond in a location not identified by the artist. They are reminiscent of Monet’s Giverny water gardens, but are more selective in their intimate, close-up study of forms reflected in the cool, blue water and their tangled, dark green foliage. The work of the artist to discover and paint their many facets is rewarded by the experience and tangible images of time well spent. The move from descriptive landscapes, to increasingly intimate and expressive close-ups, might reflect the journey that Nagel has described in this way: “Being There is a voyage of self-discovery, pursuing a passion, and finding that underexpressed part of yourself. It’s about what you discover by living in the moment, making choices and seeing what comes next, and embracing the outcome. [...] Live life forward and make the next painting.”

Cathy Wright is an art historian specializing in art of the American Southwest and former director of the Albuquerque Museum. This text is one in a series of the gallery’s exhibitions written by fellow gallery artists and friends.




I am pleased to present an exhibition by Denver-based artist Ralph Nagel. The exhibition Being There, Nagel’s first show with the gallery, features an overview of his 15 years of practice and travels from around the world. A follower of the nineteenth century Barbizon School, Hudson River School, the Impressionists and an en plein air advocate, Ralph Nagel is interested in creating works that balance between spontaneity and control. An admirer of the nineteenth forerunners Claude Monet, Camille Pissaro, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, John Constable and Théodore Rousseau, he reasons that to seize the closeness and likeness of an outside setting at a specific moment one must be outside to do so. Nagel says, “Truly seeing the subject of my art only takes place once the painting begins. It’s about that day, that moment. I would be lost if I knew the end when I begin. And as in life, painting is about having the courage to take risks towards an outcome that is unknown.” The exhibition also features a short documentary screening in the New Media Room of an interview with Ralph Nagel by Dominic Dezzutti. The documentary originally aired in 2012 and was produced by Colorado Public Television. Nagel was born in St. Charles, Illinois, in 1945 and currently lives and works in Denver, Colorado. He received his Master of Architecture from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri in 1969, and his Master of City Planning and Master of Urban Design from the University of Pennsylvania in 1972. His work has been featured in solo exhibitions throughout Australia, France, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Thailand, New Zealand, and the United States including Chicago, Dallas, Santa Fe, St. Louis, and Denver, among many others. Nagel is a member of Les Rats de Champ of Paris, France, and the co-founder of the painting group, STUDIO 208. Support for the creation of significant new works of art has been the core to the mission and program of the Bruno David Gallery since its founding in 2005. I would like to express my sincere thanks to Michael Paglia, Cathy Wright, Dan Jacobs, Carmon Colangelo and Leslie Laskey for their thoughtful essays. I am deeply grateful to Lauren Mann and Jin Xia, who gave much time, talent, and expertise to the production of this catalogue. Invaluable gallery staff support for the exhibition was provided by Christina Lu, Ruoyi Gan, Haleigh Givens, Lauren Mann, Peter Finley, Jin Xia and Thomas Fruhauf.





Hangzhou Temple Shop 2018 Acrylic on panel 48 x 48 inches (121.92 x 121.92 cm)


Maid Cottage, Waterford Castle 2018 Acrylic on panel 48 x 60 inches (121.92 x 152.40 cm)



Time of Day at Tierra Amarilla (study) 2015 Watercolor on paper 28 1/2 x 60 inches (72.39 x 152.40 cm)


4 PM Bush 2015 Watercolor on paper 60 x 40 inches (152.40 x 101.60 cm)


Six Formations 2015 Watercolor on paper 60 x 40 inches (152.40 x 101.60 cm)


Ghost Ranch Field 2013 Watercolor on paper 60 x 40 inches (152.40 x 101.60 cm)


Rock Field 2013 Watercolor on paper 60 x 40 inches (152.40 x 101.60 cm)


Foothills 2014 Watercolor on paper 22 x 30 inches (55.88 x 76.20 cm)


Plaza Blanca Monument 2014 Watercolor on paper 29 x 41 inches (73.66 x 104.14 cm)


Royal Hills 2014 Watercolor on paper 40 x 30 inches (101.60 x 76.20 cm)


Rock Fall 2013 Watercolor on paper 40 x 30 inches (101.60 x 76.20 cm)


Near Ghost Ranch 2017 Watercolor on paper 40 x 60 inches (101.60 x 152.40 cm)


Les Baux V 2017 Acrylic on panel 22 x 30 inches (55.88 x 76.20 cm)


Les Baux XXX 2017 Acrylic on panel 16 x 20 inches (40.64 x 50.80 cm)


Les Baux XI 2017 Acrylic on panel 15 x 22 inches (38.10 x 55.88 cm)


Les Baux X 2017 Acrylic on panel 15 x 22 inches (38.10 x 55.88 cm)


Les Baux XVIII 2017 Acrylic on panel 16 x 20 inches (40.64 x 50.80 cm)


Garden Passage, Les Baux 2018 Acrylic on panel 58 x 35 inches (147.32 x 88.90 cm)


Les Baux I 2016 Watercolor on paper 22 x 30 inches (55.88 x 76.20 cm)


Les Baux XVI 2016 Watercolor on paper 22 x 30 inches (55.88 x 76.20 cm)


Les Baux XXXI 2016 Watercolor on paper 22 x 30 inches (55.88 x 76.20 cm)


Les Baux XXXIV 2016 Watercolor on paper 22 x 30 inches (55.88 x 76.20 cm)


Les Baux VIII 2016 Watercolor on paper 30 x 22 inches (76.20 x 55.88 cm)


Les Baux XXXII 2016 Watercolor on paper 30 x 22 inches (76.20 x 55.88 cm)


Pool in Provence 2016 Watercolor on paper 22 x 30 inches (55.88 x 76.20 cm)


Phuket XII 2018 Acrylic on panel 18 x 13 inches (45.72 x 33.02 cm)


Phuket XIV 2018 Acrylic on panel 13 x 18 inches (33.02 x 45.72 cm)


Phuket XIII 2018 Acrylic on panel 13 x 18 inches (33.02 x 45.72 cm)


Phuket XVI 2018 Acrylic on panel 13 x 13 inches (33.02 x 33.02 cm)


Phuket XXI 2018 Acrylic on panel 22 x 30 inches (55.88 x 76.20 cm)


Phuket XX 2018 Acrylic on panel 22 x 30 inches (55.88 x 76.20 cm)


Phuket XIX 2018 Acrylic on panel 22 x 30 inches (55.88 x 76.20 cm)


Phuket V 2018 Acrylic on panel 22 x 15 inches (55.88 x 38.10 cm)


Phuket XXX 2018 Acrylic on panel 36 x 25 inches (91.44 x 63.50 cm)


Phuket III 2018 Acrylic on panel 22 x 15 inches (55.88 x 38.10 cm)


Lily Pond in Shadow III 2017 Acrylic on panel 27 x 38 inches (68.58 x 96.52 cm)


Phuket XVII 2018 Acrylic on panel 30 x 20 inches (76.20 x 50.80 cm)


Lily Pond VI 2015 Watercolor on paper 41 x 30 inches (104.14 x 76.20 cm)


Lily Pond VII 2015 Watercolor on paper 30 x 41 inches (76.20 x 104.14 cm)


Lily Pond IX 2015 Watercolor on paper 30 x 30 inches (76.20 x 76.20 cm)


Lily Pond V 2015 Watercolor on paper 30 x 41 inches (76.20 x 104.14 cm)


Lily Pond VIII 2015 Watercolor on paper 30 x 41 inches (76.20 x 104.14 cm)


Lily Pond III 2015 Watercolor on paper 41 x 30 inches (104.14 x 76.20 cm)


(top) Lily Pond X 2015 Watercolor on paper 18 x 29.50 inches (45.72 x 74.93 cm) (Bottom) Lily Pond XII 2015 Watercolor on paper 23 x 29.50 inches (58.42 x 74.93 cm) Overall framed size 49 x 37 inches (124.46 x 93.98 cm)


Belt and Block 2017 Watercolor on paper 22 x 30 inches (55.88 x 76.20 cm)


Les Baux V 2016 Watercolor on paper 30 x 22 inches (76.20 x 55.88 cm)


Sandals 2017 Watercolor on paper 22 x 30 inches (55.88 x 76.20 cm)


Calla Lily 2017 Watercolor on paper 60 x 40 inches (152.40 x 101.60 cm)


Breadstick Jar, Provence 2018 Acrylic on panel 58 x 38 inches (147.32 x 96.52 cm)


Ralph Nagel: Being There (installation view)



Ralph Nagel: Being There (installation view)



Ralph Nagel: Being There (installation view)



Ralph Nagel: Being There (installation view)



Ralph Nagel: Being There (installation view)



Ralph Nagel: Being There (installation view)



Ralph Nagel: Being There (installation view)




RALPH J. NAGEL Born in St. Charles, Illinois (1945) Lives and works in Denver, Colorado

EDUCATION 1969 1972

Master of Architecture, Washington University, St. Louis, MO Master of City Planning; Master of Urban Design, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA.


Bruno David Gallery, “Being There”, solo exhibition. St. Louis, MO, October 4-November 17 (catalogue)

2014 Madden Art Museum, “The Painted Desert: Images of Ghost Ranch”, Greenwood Village, CO, TBA. Sangre de Cristo Arts Center, “Aquarius National Watermedia Exhibition 2014”, Birgit O’Conner (Juror), Pueblo, CO, September 27, 2014 – January 3, 2015. Loveland Museum and Gallery, “Ralph Nagel: Ghost Ranch Impressions”, Loveland, CO, November 22, 2014 – January 11, 2015. Lone Tree Arts Center, “Places and Things – An Artist’s Vision”, Lone Tree, CO, January 27 – March 2. 2013

Dayton Memorial Library, “Ralph Nagel”, Regis University, Denver, CO, October. Littleton History Museum, “Being There”, Littleton, CO, September 20 – October 27. Center for Visual Art, “Ghost Ranch”, Metropolitan State University of Denver, August 2 – 24. Littleton History Museum, “Own an Original”, Littleton, CO, November 15, 2012 – January 13, 2013.


Denver Athletic Club, “Ralph Nagel”, September. Foothills Art Center, “2012 Rocky Mountain National Watermedia Exhibition”, Golden, CO, September 14 – October 28. Curtis Arts & Humanities Center, “All Colorado Art Show”, Sandra Kaplan (Juror), Greenwood Village, CO, July 14 – August 31. Parker Adventist Hospital “Healing Arts Program &Visiting Artist Exhibition”, Parker, CO, May – June.


2011 Lone Tree Arts Center Exhibition, presented by the Lone Tree Arts Commission, Lone Tree, CO, November 12 – December 31. Anam Cara Gallery, “Public Image 2011 Juried Show”, Lorene Joos (Curator), Lakewood Cultural Arts Center, Lakewood, CO, August 5 – September 24. Curtis Arts and Humanities Center “28th Annual All Colorado Art Show”, Jill Desmond (Curator), Denver Art Museum, Greenwood Village, CO, June 25 – August 23. Madden Art Museum, “This is Colorado” Heritage Fine Art Guild’s of Arapahoe County Statewide Annual Exhibition, Greenwood Village, CO, Victoria Kwasinki (Juror), January 11 - March 24, 2011. 2010 Chambers Center, “Ralph Nagel”, The Women’s college of the University of Denver, Denver, CO, December 1, 2010 – January 31, 2011. Redshift Gallery, “A Little Help from My Friends”, , Denver, CO,Rob Foster (curator), November 11 – December 11. Denver Athletic Club, “Landscape Paintings by Ralph Nagel and Judith Babcock”, Denver, CO, November 1 - 29. Alpine Fine Arts Center, ‘Colorado Artists Guild 2010’, Artists of Colorado Annual Exhibition, Denver, CO, October 14 – November 6, Arnold & Porter LLC, “Ralph Nagel and Marsha Wooley”, Republic Plaza Building, Denver, CO, October. Colorado Watercolor Society, “2010 New Trends Exhibit”, Republic Plaza, Denver, CO, Andra Archer (Juror), August 30 – November 3. The Wildlife Experience, Parker, CO, “Practice What You Teach: Landscapes by Colorado’s Community College Art Faculty”, Kathryn Charles (Curator), July 31 – November 14. Curtis Arts and Humanities Center “All Colorado Art Show, Quang Ho (Juror), Greenwood Village, CO, July 10 – 23. Colorado Gallery of the Arts, “Annual Kaleidoscope”, Arapahoe Community College, Littleton, CO, July 12 – August 5. Colorado State Capitol, Offices of Lt. Governor Barbara O’Brien and Capitol Basement Rotunda, “Practice What You Teach: Landscapes by Colorado’s Community College Art Faculty”, Kathryn Charles (Curator), Denver, CO, March 3 – June 30. 2009 Denver Athletic Club Galleries, “Ralph Nagel”, Denver, CO, November. Littleton History Museum, “Own an Original” 44th Annual Juried Exhibition, Lewis Sharp (Juror), Littleton, CO, October 22, 2009 – January 3, 2010. Colorado Gallery of the Arts, “Images of Provence and Tuscany”, Littleton, CO, October 12 – December 2. Brushstokes Gallery, “Art & Artifacts” continuing exhibition benefiting Project Education Sudan, Denver, CO, October. Project Education Sudan, “Third Biennal Arts & Artifacts Benefit”, September 26. Redline “Art for Ransom” Benefit for Arts Street and Redline, September 12. Louisville Art Association, “24th Annual National Fine Art Show 2009,” Louisville, CO September 5 – 13. Republic Plaza, “Plein air Expanded: Landscape~Cityscape,” Andra Archer & Susan Bell (Curators), Denver, CO, September 2 – November 5. Sangre de Cristo Arts Center, “International Watermedia XVI”, Pueblo, CO, Pikes Peak Watercolor Society, Thomas J. Owen (Juror), August 15 – October 17. Colorado Gallery of the Arts, “Kaleidoscope”, Littleton, CO, July 15- August 5. Core Art Space, “The Blue Show”, Carlos Fresquez (Juror), Denver, CO July 9 - 26.


2009 Curtis Arts and Humanities Center, “26th All Colorado Art Show” Greenwood Village, CO, Deborah Jordy (Juror), June 13 – July 31. Loveland Museum & Gallery, “Green Room” One Person Exhibition, Loveland, CO,April 18 – July 19. Colorado Gallery of the Arts, Arapahoe Community College Juried Student’s Exhibition, April. Southwest Gallery, “Nomadas del Arte Group Show”, Dallas, Texas, April. Western Colorado Center for the Arts, “Western Colorado”, Watercolor Society 17th Annual National Exhibition, Grand Junction, CO, March 3 – April 10. RedShift Framing Gallery, “Studio 208”, Denver, CO, January 8 – 31. Magis Night Gala Art Auction (to benefit Arrupe Jesuit High School), Hayatt Regency at Denver Convention Center, Denver, CO, February. Center for the Arts, “Self-Portrait of an Artist”, Evergreen, CO, January 5 – 23. 2008 Les Rats des Champs Association d’Art Nomade, Group Exhibition, L’Association Agraph, Paris, France, December 11 – February 12. Littleton Historical Museum, “Own an Original”, Robert Gratiot (Juror). Littleton, CO, October 12 - January 4. Swedish Hospital’s Progressive Health Center, “Fundraiser and Art Show”, Englewood, CO, Sept. 20. Sacramento Fine Arts Center & Northern California Arts, “Bold Expressions”, 53rd Annual International Exhibition, Sacramento, CA, Sept. 30 – Oct. 25 Democratic National Convention, Denver, CO, Inner city outdoor artist slide show, August 25 – 28. Abend Gallery, “Plein Air Artists Colorado 12th Annual Juried Members Exhibition”, Denver, CO, July 11 – July 26. La Petite Galerie, “Paysages Peintures, Plein Air Paintings by Ralph Nagel and Daniel Fisher”, Paris, France, May 15 – 25. Stanton Gallery, Littleton Town Hall Arts Center, “Studio 208 Group Exhibition”, May 29 – June 30. Gilpin County Arts Association. “62nd Fine Art Juried Show”, Central City, CO, May 31 – August 15. (Honorable Mention, “Farms”). Bell Studio Gallery, “Introducing Ralph Nagel”, Denver, CO. May 2 – 31. Colorado History Museum, “17th Annual Colorado Watercolor Society 2008 State Watermedia Exhibit”, Lian Zhen (Juror), Denver, CO. April 25 – May 4. Lincoln Center. “17th National Art Exhibition, Artists’ Association of Northern Colorado”, Desmond O’Hagan (Juror), Fort Collins, CO. April 5 – May 9. Colorado Gallery of the Arts, Arapahoe Community College “Art Student Juried Exhibition”, Littleton, CO, March 28 – April 10. Sage Creek Gallery, “Nomadas Del Arte”, Santa Fe, NM, March. 1 – 31. 2007 Gallery 821, “First Annual Plein Air Artists Colorado Winter Miniature Show”, Denver, CO. December 1 through 31. Littleton Historical Museum, Featured guest artist, Littleton, CO, December. Biennale Internazionale Dell’Arte Contemporanea, Florence, Itlay. International Juried Exhibition. December 1 – 9. Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris, France. “Peindre Ensemble Dans la Nature” with Les Rats des Champs, Association d’art Nomade (Nomadic Art Association), November 14 – 24. Colorado Gallery of the Arts, Arapahoe Community College, “Impressions of Provence and Italy”, Littleton, CO. November 8 – December 6.


2007 Littleton Historical Museum, “Own an Original”, Littleton, CO. October 19, - January 2, 2008. Colorado Gallery of the Arts, Arapahoe Community College, “Second Career Artists”, Littleton, CO. September 14 – November 8. Project Education Sudan, “Paintings of Southern Sudan”, Benefit and Sale, September 15. Highlands Ranch Library, “Ralph Nagel”, One Person Exhibition, Highlands Ranch, CO. September. Bemis Public Library, “Kaleidoscope: Best of Show”, Littleton, CO. August 8 – 30. Angler Art Gallery, “Plein Air Artists Colorado (PAAC)”, 11th Annual Exhibition, Denver, CO. August 3 – 31. Colorado Gallery of the Arts, Arapahoe Community College “Kaleidoscope,” Arts Alliance of Littleton Annual Juried Exhibition, Littleton, CO. July 6 – August 17, (Third Place Award.) Richard Groskopf Gallery, “Richard Groskopf and Friends”, Denver, CO. June – July. Gilpin County Arts Association, “Annual Juried Exhibition”, Rita Derjue (Juror), Central City, CO. June 3 – August 19. “Kent Denver Art Show”, Kent Denver School, Englewood, CO. June 8 – 10. Saks Gallery, “Bow Wow Benefit” benefiting Diana Price-Fish Cancer Foundation and MaxFund Animal Adoption Center, Denver, CO. May. Galeria Felix Gómez, “Naturalezas Nómadas” with Martine Dohy, Esperanza Benito, Amy Metier, Ralph Nagel, Marsha Wooley, Jauan Lacomba, Richard Groskopf, Vincent Bioules, Pierre Le Cacheux, Alexandre Hollan, Daniel Fisher, Sevilla, Spain. April – May. Colorado Gallery of the Arts, Arapahoe Community College, “2007 Art Student Exhibition” Littleton, CO. March 28 – April 12. Highlands Garden Gallery, “Artists Series”, Two Person Exhibition with Boris Shoshensky and Ralph Nagel, Denver, CO. March 18 – May 18. Koelbel Library, One Person Exhibition, Greenwood Village, CO. March. Denver Athletic Club, “Fresh Paint: New Art by Judy Babcock and Ralph Nagel,” Denver, CO. February. 2006 Reilly, Pozner & Connelly, One Person Exhibition, Andra Archer (Curator), Denver, CO. December. Gallery 821, “Salute to Bierstadt”, R L Foster (Juror), Denver, CO. November. “Lone Tree Art Exhibition”, Maynard Tischler (Juror), Lone Tree, CO. November 11 – 26. La Petite Galerie, “Nouveau monde” (Nature Nomades II), Paris, France, October 15 – 28. Gallery 821, “The Best of Arts Colorado”, Juried Exhibition, R L Foster (Juror), Denver, CO: September. Denver Botanic Gardens, “11th Annual Artists of Colorado State Exhibition”, Marsha Wooley (Juror), Honorable Mention, Denver, CO. September 28 – October 5. (Painting: “Plaza, Sienna, Italy”). Project Education Sudan, “Paintings of Southern Sudan”, Benefit and Sale, September 14. Angler Art Gallery, “Plein Air Artists Colorado 10th Annual Exhibition”, Denver, CO. August. (Second Place Overall, “Chapel de Rochegude”). Curtis Arts & Humanities Center “23nd Annual All Colorado Art Show,” Lawrence Argent (Juror), Greenwood Village, CO, June – July. Denver Botanic Gardens, “Colorado Watercolor Society 15th Annual State Watermedia Exhibition”, Denver, CO, May – June. Gallery 821, “Spring Student Show 2006”, Molly Davis (Curator), Denver, C). May. Boettcher Gallery, “Studio 208 Group Exhibition,” Denver Center for the Performing Arts, Denver, CO. January.


2005 Denver Art Museum, “Lone Tree Art Exhibition”, Ann Daley (Curator), Lone Tree, CO. November 12 – 25, (“Amy’s Backyard Bouquet” Second Place). Denver Botanic Gardens, “10th Annual Artists of Colorado State Exhibition”, Denver, CO. November 8 – 15. Sacramento Fine Arts Center, Northern California Arts, “Bold Expressions,” Craig Smith (Juror), October 4 – 30. (Award of Excellence, “Hats”; Award of Merit, “Abstract Transformation”. Louisville Art Association’s Annual Juried Exhibition, “Louisville Arts Festival 2005,” Molly Davis (Juror). September 1 – 11. Palette & Chisel Academy of Fine Arts, Colored Pencil Society of America, “13th International Juried Exhibition,” Suzanne Folds McCullagh (Juror). Chicago, Il. July 29 – August 21. Lapis Gallery and Providence Gallery, Colorado Watercolor Society, “2005 Member’s Show,” Boris Shoshensky (Juror), Denver, CO, July 1 – 30. Curtis Arts & Humanities Center, “22nd Annual All Colorado Art Show,” Carlos Fresquez (Juror), Greenwood Village, CO, June 18 – July 29. Gallery 821, “Introducing Gallery 821,” Denver, CO. May 6 – 21. Meridian Art Gallery, “One Person Exhibition,” Boulder, CO, March. RedShift Gallery, “030405 Exhibition,” Denver, CO, March. R.L. Foster Galleries, “2nd Annual Drawing Exhibition,” Denver, CO, January 16 – February 16. Foothills Art Center, “Colorado Art Open,” Golden, CO, January – March. Denver Athletic Club Gallery, “Studio 208 Paintings, Drawings, and Sculpture”, Denver, CO. January. Littleton Historical Museum, “39th Annual Own A Original Arts Exhibition,” Susan C. Elliott (Juror), Littleton, CO, October 21 – December 7. Logan Street Studio Gallery, “Studio 208 Art Exhibition,” Boris Shoshensky (Curator), January. 2004

R.L. Foster Galleries, “The Figure.” Denver, CO.


Zwolf Gallery, “Summertime in Wash Park.” Denver, CO.


Bibliography and Catalogues

Langdon, Paul

HEC-TV interview, October 2018

Beall, Dickson

“Ralph Nagel”, West End Words, October 3, 2018


Wall Street International Magazine, October 6, 2018

Otten, Liam

“Ralph Nagel”, Sam Fox School Blog, September 27, 2018

Exhibition Catalogue, “Ralph Nagel: Being There”, Bruno David Gallery Publications. Texts by Leslie Laskey, Dan Jacobs, Michael Paglia, Carmon Colangelo, Cathy Wright and Bruno L. David (September 2018), St. Louis, MO. Exhibition Catalogue, “Western Colorado Watercolor Society 17th Annual National”, Exhibition Western Colorado Center for the Arts, Grand Junction, CO, (2009) Art of the Four Corners, Spring Edition, (2007) New Art International, Edition 2005-2006, Book Art Press, Woodstock, NY.

TV and Video Interviews Channel 12 Rocky Mountain PBS, “Out of Order”, October 2012. Channel 9 News, Denver, CO, “Painter Witnesses Tsunami,” February 26, 2005.


Awards 3rd Place, “Hats,” Kaleidoscoope, Art Alliance of Littleton Annual Juried Exhibition, Juror: Maureen Corey, Curator, Loveland Art Museum, July – August 2007. Honorable Mention, “Abstract Transformations,” 11th Annual Artists of Colorado State Exhibition, Denver Botanic Gardens, Denver, CO. Marsha Wooley, Juror, September 28 – October 5, 2006. Second Place, “Chapel de Rochegude”, Plein Air Artists Colorado 10th Annual Exhibition, Angler Art Gallery, Denver, CO. August. 2006. Second Place Overall Still Life, “Amy’s Backyard Bouquet”, Lone Tree Art Exhibition, Lone Tree, CO. Ann Daley, Curator, Denver Art Museum, Juror. November 12 – 25, 2005. Award of Excellence, “Hats”; Award of Merit, “Abstract Transformation”. Northern California Arts, Inc. “Bold Expressions,” Sacramento Fine Arts Center, Craig Smith, Juror. October 4 – 30, 2005.


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ARTISTS Laura Beard Heather Bennett Lisa K. Blatt Michael Byron Bunny Burson Judy Child Carmon Colangelo Alex Couwenberg Jill Downen Yvette Drury Dubinsky Damon Freed Douglass Freed

Michael Jantzen Kelley Johnson Howard Jones (Estate) Chris Kahler Xizi Liu Kahlil Robert Irving Bill Kohn (Estate) Leslie Laskey Yvonne Osei Patricia Olynyk Gary Passanise Judy Pfaff

Charles P. Reay Daniel Raedeke Tom Reed Frank Schwaiger Charles Schwall Christina Shmigel Thomas Sleet Shane Simmons Buzz Spector Cindy Tower Ann Wimsatt Monika Wulfers

Ellen Jantzen


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Ralph Nagel: Being There  

Published by the gallery for the exhibition “Ralph Nagel: Being There” at Bruno David Gallery. This exhibition catalog includes text by Mich...

Ralph Nagel: Being There  

Published by the gallery for the exhibition “Ralph Nagel: Being There” at Bruno David Gallery. This exhibition catalog includes text by Mich...