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Artists Nancy Graves

Nancy Graves

American Sculptor, Painter, Printmaker and Filmmaker

Nancy Graves Photo
Movement: Post-Minimalism

Born: December 23, 1939 - Pittsfield, Massachusetts

Died: October 21, 1995 - New York City, New York

"Color is another way to confound the eye,"


Nancy Graves worked across many media and over many years to bring back life - particularly natural life - to the "soulless" American art world of the time. In the 1960s two movements were dominant in America - Minimalism and Pop Art. Graves was bored by the pure abstraction and clean lines of Minimalism and wary of Pop Artists' obsession with popular culture and mechanic reproduction techniques. Her art completely broke away from these movements and styles by focusing predominately on the natural world, often referencing scientific modes of titling, display, and representation.

Graves became famous for two life-size naturalistic camel sculptures, which embodied her fascination with animals; her interest in museum display techniques for showing artworks, as well as her creative and humorous take on natural history in art. She worked in a huge variety of media across her career and went on to make films as well as more abstract and brightly colored assemblage sculptures, paintings, and prints in later life, in works that drew the natural world together with anthropological or cultural human histories.

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