David Nash (British, b.1945) is a sculptor who uses a wide range of wood products and other natural materials to create unique works, which have earned him international acclaim. He attended school in England, first at Brighton College, followed by Kingston College of Art from 1963 to 1967. Nash's postgraduate years were spent at the Chelsea School of Art from 1969 to 1970. He was also elected as a member of the Royal Academy of Arts in London, England, for his excellence in both school and his career.

Nash is most popular for his creations using wood, including sculptures created using live trees. Unlike most sculptors, who typically use chisels to create their works, Nash is famous for his use of chainsaws, blowtorches, and other heavier tools and machinery. The chainsaw allows him to work with large trees to shape and mold them, while the blowtorch allows him to add the blackened effects for which he is known. One of his most famous pieces is called Wooden Boulder, which was made from a large piece of wood that he molded into a spherical shape. Nash carved it in North Wales and then left it. Eventually it weathered, dislodged, and began to roll down the mountainside, after which it was spotted off and on for several decades. The boulder was last seen in 2009, after being reported missing for five years. Another one of Nash’s popular works is Ash Dome, which he created using live ash trees; he planted these trees and then manipulated them to make them grow in a dome shape. The location of the dome is undisclosed to protect it from damage.

Nash is famous for using geometric shapes in his work, as well as more natural lines in his tree sculptures. Many of his works are inspired by architecture, such as the pyramids, as well as by the natural world and environment. His work has been featured in the Abbot Hall Art Gallery in Kendal, England, Gallery Lelong Zürich in Switzerland, Sala de la Diputacion in Spain, and Annely Juda Fine Art in London. In 2010, his work was showcased at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park in England, an outdoor gallery that features sculptures by various artists.

Timeline

1945
Born Esher, Surrey, England
1963–1967
Studied Kingston College of Art
1967
Moved to Blaenau Ffestiniog, North Wales, where he lives and works
1969–1970
Postgraduate Study, Chelsea School of Art
1999
Elected Royal Academician
1999
Appointed Research Fellow, University of Northumbria, Newcastle
1999
Awarded Honorary Doctorate in Art & Design, Kingston University
2004
Awarded OBE for services to the arts
1999–present
Member of the British Royal Academy of Fine Arts

Exhibitions

2010
Yorkshire Sculpture Park, West Bretton, U.K. (solo)
2009
Blickachsen 7, Bad Homburg v.d.H., Germany
2009
Galeria Alvaro Alcazar, Madrid, Spain (solo)
2009
Monumental Sculpture, Kunsthalle Mannheim, Germany (solo)
2009
Rückkehr der Kunst in die Natur, Skulpturenpark Heidelberg der Orthopädischen Universitätsklinik e.V., Germany (solo)
2009
Abbot Hall Art Gallery, Cumbria, U.K. (solo)
2008
Retrospektive, Kunsthalle Emden, Germany (solo)
2008
Naturformen, ALTANA Kulturstiftung, Bad Homburg, Germany (solo)
2006
Trunks Thicken, Branches Lengthen, Roots Deepen. Galerie Scheffel, Bad Homburg, Germany; Museum Galerie Fabrik, Schwäbisch Gmünd
2006
David Nash, Konstruktiv Tendens, Stockholm (solo)
2006
Im kleinen Format, Galerie Scheffel, Bad Homburg
2005
For and From, The Metropole Galleries, Folkestone
2005
Geometrisk Abstraktion XXIV, Kunstruktiv Tendens, Stockholm
2005
David Nash – Vessels, Sala de la Diputación de Huesca, Spain (solo)
2005
David Nash- Pyramids rise, Spheres turn, and Cubes stand still, Annely Juda Fine Art, London (solo)
2005
David Nash: The Language of Wood/Sculpture and Drawings from the Recent Gift of Andrew and Bronya Galef, Fairchild Gallery, Amherst College, USA (solo)
2005
David Nash: Sculptures, Projects, Drawings, Galerie Lelong Zürich, Switzerland (solo)
2005
Fieldnotes and Sketchbooks, Aberdeen Art Gallery
2005
Effervescence – La sculpture anglaise dans les institutions francaises 1969-1989, Musée d’Angers
2005
Pyramids rise, Spheres turn and Cubes stand still, Annely Juda Fine Art, London
2005
Summer Exhibition, Royal Academy of Arts, London
2005
Henry Moore: Epoche und Echo - Englische Bildhauerei im 20. Jahrhundert, Kunsthalle Würth, Künzelsau, Germany
2004
David Nash “Making and Placing Abstract Sculpture 1978–2004”, Tate St Ives, Cornwall (solo)
2004
David Nash “Holzskulpturen”, Stiftung für Bildhauerei und Georg-Kolbe-Museum, Berlin (solo)
2004
“David Nash”, Galeria Metta, Madrid (solo)
2004
Making and Placing, Abstract Sculpture 1978 – 2004, Tate St Ives, Cornwall
Twmps and Eggs, Galerie Lelong Paris
2003
David Nash : Roche Beech, New Art Centre Sculpture Park and Gallery, Roche Court (solo)
2003
David Nash “The Return of Art into Nature”, Galerie Scheffel, Bad Homburg (GER) (solo)
2003
David Nash “Holzskulpturen”, Gerhard Marcks Haus, Bremen (GER) (solo)
2002
David Nash: Dark Light, Galerie Lelong, New York (solo)
2001
David Nash – From Wales, Nishimura Gallery, Tokyo (solo)
2001
Burn: Artists Play with Fire, Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach, Florida, March 29 - June 3, 2001
2001
Blickachsen 3, Skulpturen im Kurpark, Galerie Scheffel, Bad Homburg (GER)
2000–2001
Three Forms for Chicago, Chicago’s Museum Campus, Chicago
2000
Bronze: Contemporary British Sculpture, Holland Park, London
1999
Blickachsen 2, Skulpturen im Kurpark, Galerie Scheffel, Bad Homburg (GER)
1998
Powder, Aspen Art Museum, Colorado
1998
David Nash - Language of Wood, Banque de Luxembourg (solo)
1996
Recent Sculpture and Drawing, Galerij S65, Aalst
1996
Forms into Time 1971-96, Museum van Hedengaase Kunst, Antwerp
1995–1996
Sculptors Drawings 1945-90, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
1995
Here and Now, Serpentine Gallery, London
1995
David Nash: Sculpture from Japan, Annely Juda Fine Art, London (solo)
1994
Voyages and Vessels, Joslyn Art Museum, Omaha. Exhibition travelled to: Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego; The Contemporary Museum, Honolulu; Madison Arts Center, Wisconsin
1994
Otoineppu - Spirit of Three Seasons, Asahikawa Museum of Art, Hokkaido Exhibition travelled to: Nagoya City Art Museum; Ashiya City Museum of Art, Kobe; Museum of Modern Art, Saitama; Museum of Modern Art, Kamakura; Tsukuba Museum of Art, Ibaraki Nishimura Gallery, Tokyo
1994
Museum of Contemporary Art, Santa Monica
1993
The Planted Works, Manchester City Art Gallery
1992
The Artist's Hand, Phoenix Art Museum, Arizona
1990
The Forces of Nature, Manchester City Art Gallery
1990
Chene et Frene, Musee des Beaux-Arts, Calais
1985
Bixby Gallery, Washington University, St Louis
Rijksmuseum Kröller-Müller, Otterlo
Elm, Wattle, Gum, Heide Park and Art Gallery, Melbourne
1984–1985
Moriyama City, Shiga, Japan
Tochigi Prefectural Museum of Fine Arts, Tochigi-ken
Miyagi Museum of Art, Sendai
Fukuoka Art Museum
Sogetsu Kaikan, Tokyo
1983
Sixty Seasons, Third Eye Centre, Glasgow
Exhibition at the Fruitmarket Gallery in Edinburgh
Oriel,Mostyn, Llandudno
Glynn Vivian Art Gallery and Museum, Swansea
City Museum Art Gallery, Stoke-on-Trent
The Douglas Hyde Gallery, Trinity College, Dublin
1973
Briefly Cooked Apples, Quenn Elizabeth Hall, York and Oriel, Bangor, Wales

Literature

2004
David Nash, Twmps & Eggs, Repères n° 127, Galerie Lelong
1996
Julian Andrews, The sculpture of David Nash - The Henry Moore Foundation in association with Lund Humphries Publishers, London
1996
David Nash, Forms into time - Academy Editions