Peter Nadin has not shown work since 1992, when he stopped showing in an attempt to “unlearn how to make art.” The past decade and a half has been marked by an intensively private artistic outpouring on the farm he owns with his wife in the Catskill Mountains. Old Field Farm accommodates 150 acres of forest, wild bee pasture, habitat for goats, chickens, hogs, and vegetable and fruit gardens. Nadin’s paintings and sculptures involve a process closely linked to the farm, its animals, its vegetation, and its environs. The tactile, olfactory, visual, and auditory experiences of the land move him to create marks on linen using materials from the farm: honey, wax, bee propolis, black walnut, elderberry, chicken eggs, and cashmere wool. His First Mark series is therefore analogous to medieval relics. The reliquary held a fragment of the saintly corpus, whereas the painting or icon was mimetic. Nadin’s paintings and sculptures of the last fifteen years represent an artistic process that returns art to the most basic impulse from which it first emerged.
Peter Nadin studied biology and fine art at Newcastle-upon-Tyne University in England from 1972-76. He received the Max Beckmann Award from the Brooklyn Museum in 1976. Since then, he has lived and worked in New York, exhibiting his artwork in galleries and museums in Europe and the U.S. He continues his scientific inquiries and, in collaboration with the neurologist Dr. Michael Salcman and Dr. John Nadin, examined and developed a course on the relationship between neurology and artistic practice, which he teaches at the Cooper Union School of Art. The course studies the biological foundations of the mind, current theories of consciousness and how the new theories of consciousness relate to artistic practice.
Nadin's work has been seen in solo exhibitions at the Yale Center for British Art, New Haven (1992), the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston (1989), Brooke Alexander Gallery, New York (1986), Le Nouveau Musée, Lyon (1981) and the Museum fur (Sub) Kultur, Berlin (1981). He has also been included in group exhibitions at the 1988 Venice Biennale XLII, Stadtische Kunsthalle Dusseldorf (1987), the Carpenter Center for Visual Arts, Harvard University (1985), Kunstmuseum Bern (1985), the Walker Art Center (1983) and Westkunst Cologne (1981).
Nadin's work is in public and private collections in the U.S. and Europe, including the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Yale Center for British Art, Rooseum, Stockholm, and the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, England, among others.
Nadin has written three books: Twelve Prints and Poems, Grenfell Press, New York, 1998; Tide of Tongues, Thea Westreich, New York, 1991; and Still Life, Tanam Press, New York, 1983. He has also coauthored Eating Through Living, Tanam Press, 1981; Eating Friends, Top Stories, New York, 1981; and Living, self published, New York, 1980.
In 1999 Nadin established the Schoolhouse Apiary in Greene County, New York. He is currently a U.S. delegate to the Conference of South American Apiarists.