HARRY NADLER, who lived and worked in New York and New Mexico, arrived in New York City in 1962, some ten years after the heyday of Abstract Expressionism. He absorbed the paintings of his predecessors, adapting their motivating ideas in a search for meaning in his own work. After immersing himself in the sensuousness of paint quality and the richness of color relationships—as exemplified by Paul Cezanne, Archile Gorky, Richard Diebenkorn, and others—he found a greater need for geometric structure in his paintings. Throughout his career, he combined this sensitivity of paint handling with geometry in order to create his unique vision of formal power and light. His work is represented in major museum collections and galleries throughout America and Europe.
All my paintings are made up of the PHYSICAL: the act of painting, the craft, the process; the INTELLECTUAL: ideas, organization, spatial conditions; the INTUITIVE: expressive quality which is fluid and always changing. Immersed in this activity, can I find metaphors for the transcendent?
Notes for a talk by Harry Nadler, delivered at Sena Gallery East, Santa Fe, N.M. September 1, 1989
It may be too monotonous, but I seem to be striving for not a monotony, but an equanimity where each element is contradicted by another element, where the words good, bad, up, down, neg., pos., color vs. no color lose their meaning in something more important. What that something is, I find very hard to verbalize perhaps a state of mind is as close as I can come up with right now.
March 23, 1972
My new paintings are not depictions of nature, but "equivalences" for that crystalline quality of light that is so pervasive in New Mexico. That light for me is a visual metaphor for an interior state of clarity - the paintings attempt to represent a state of mind.
Clarity of space
whiteness of light
color of no color.
Timeless, vast spaces where the mind draws inward.
April 30, 1974
It is clearer to me, more than ever before, that my paintings are meditations on this "hidden unity," the connection between the world of my senses, what I see, and how this material is translated into a painting which expresses the duality of opposites, although exploring relationships until a "quivering" relationship results in the painting - a completeness not seen, but felt in nature. The lines are related to script--Chinese, Phoenician, Hebrew--where the characters could possibly express a feeling, a "pictograph" of feeling.
July 31, 1980