Dona Nelson: Stand Alone Paintings presents works from the last four decades of Nelson’s influential painting career. Originally from Grand Island, Nebraska, Nelson moved to New York City in 1967 to participate in the newly formed Whitney Independent Study Program. In the following decades, she played a prominent role in shaping the direction of abstract painting in New York, forging an independent style that melds painting with sculpture, representation with abstraction, and oils and acrylics with nontraditional materials such as cheesecloth and modeling paste. The catalogue features extensive photographic documentation of the installation along with new poetry by Anselm Berrigan, an interview with the artist by Dayton Director Ian Berry, and an archive of newly printed essays that chronicle Nelson’s career.
Nelson has exhibited nationally and internationally with solo exhibitions at the Tang Teaching Museum, Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, New York (2018), Weatherspoon Art Museum at UNC Greensboro (2000) and the Morris Gallery at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia (1999). Group exhibitions include A Focus on Painting, Galerie Thaddeus Ropac, London (2020), Unpainting, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney (2018) and the 2014 Whitney Biennial. Nelson has received numerous awards including John Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship (1994), a grant from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts (2011), an Artist Legacy Foundation Grant (2013) and an Anonymous was a Woman Grant (2015).