Jill Nathanson is an artist who has worked to reimagine the tradition of Color Field painting. Using a technique of pouring acrylic polymers, Nathanson’s paintings are characterized by coloristic inventiveness, as the pours create new hues by overlapping layers of translucency. Her paintings evoke what she calls “color desire,” as the fluidity of the forms engage us in seeking color resolutions across the pictorial field, while drawing us to the different spaces that the colors occupy and the ways they attract and repel each other.

Nathanson became fascinated by color painting at Bennington College. She arrived at the school in the mid-1970s, when it was at the center of color field abstraction. From Kenneth Noland and Larry Poons, she learned to avoid composing through dark and light tones and to give color an ever-greater role in structuring a painting. Over the last four decades, she has deepened her exploration of color dynamics, seeking to transmit affective realities of seeing. She courts chaos in her method, through employing chance, but she also works methodically—each overlay of color takes a day to dry. For the viewer, her paintings evoke energies in the body as well as optical experience, and the physical presence of each painting resists immediate assimilation, involving a dynamic, layered search for unity.

After her time at Bennington, Nathanson received her MFA from Hunter College, City University of New York. Her first solo exhibition was held in 1982 at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg. Subsequently she has been featured in one-artist shows at many venues, including Hunter College; Roanoke College, Virginia; the Philadelphia Museum of Jewish Art; the Slifka Center, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut; the Derfner Judaica Museum, New York; and June Kelly Gallery, New York. She has participated in numerous group exhibitions, including Bennington College, Vermont; Stanford Museum, Connecticut; Danforth Museum, Framingham, Massachusetts; the Painting Center, New York; the National Academy Museum, New York; and Taylor University, Upland, Indiana. Nathanson is included in the collections of Agnes Etherington Art Center, Queens University, Kingston, Ontario; Hines Industrial, Boston; Maimonides Hospital, Brooklyn, New York; and Tufts University, Medford, Massachusetts.

© Berry Campbell, 2015



1976, Bennington College
1982, Hunter College, MFA
1982, Triangle Artists Workshop
1992, Triangle Artists Workshop
2007-present Board, Triangle Artists Workshop


Berry Campbell, New York, 2015.
Messineo Art Projects/Wyman Contemporary, New York, The Air We Swim In: New Paintings, 2013.
Messineo Art Projects/Wyman Contemporary, New York, No Blue Without Yellow, 2010.
Derfner Judaica Museum, New York, Sacred Presence/Painterly Process, 2010.
Seeing Sinai Collaboration Makom Center for Mindfulness, New York City, 2006.
Slifka Center, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, 2006.
Seeing Sinai Collaboration, New York City, 2006.
Philadelphia Museum of Jewish Art, Pennsylvania, Seeing Sinai Collaboration, 2005.
Elizabeth Harris Gallery, New York City, 2002.
Elizabeth Harris Gallery, New York City, 2000.
June Kelly Gallery New Paintings, New York City, 1997.
June Kelly Gallery Paintings:, New York City, 1995.
Ethan Cohen Gallery, New York City, 1987.
Triangle Center Gallery, New York City, 1984.
Hunter College Gallery, New York City, 1982.
Roanoke College, Virginia, 1982.
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, 1982.


Merton Simpson Gallery, New York, Iconomania, 2014.
Taylor University, Upland, Indiana, Crosscurrents in Contemporary Abstraction, 2012.
National Academy Museum, New York, The Annual, 2012, 2012.
Triangle Gallery, Dumbo, Brooklyn, What Only Paint Can Do, 2012.
Lori Bookstein Fine Art, New York, Karen Wilkin, Curator, Color as Structure/ Structure as Color, 2007.
The Painting Center, New York, Karen Wilkin, Curator, The Legacy of Hans Hofmann, 2006.
Lori Bookstein Fine Art, New York, 2005.
New York Studio School, Painting Abstraction, 2000.
Elizabeth Harris Gallery, New York, Up and Coming, 1999.
Tribes Gallery, New York, Small Gems, 1995.
Shirley Fiterman Gallery, Borough of Manhattan Community College, Michael R. Chilsom, Curator, Undoing Geometry, 1995.
Gallery One, Toronto, Canada, Karen Wilkin, Curator, Inner Landscapes, 1995.
Galerie Marie-Louise Wirth, Zurich, 1995.
Switzerland American Topography, 1991
Ethan Cohen Gallery, New York, 1988.
Inaugural Exhibition Ethan Cohen Gallery, New York, 1987.
110 Greene Street Gallery, New York, Individuals at Triangle, 1986.
Jerusalem Gallery, New York, New Modernists, 1986.
Danforth Museum, Framingham, Massachusetts, Kenworth Moffett, Curator, Abstract Art in New England, 1981.
Stanford Museum, Connecticut, Abstract Art in New England, 1981.
Tibor de Nagy Gallery, New York, Dan Cameron, Curator, The Broken Surface, 1981.
Bennington College, Vermont, 1981.


Tufts University, Medford, Massachusetts
Agnes Etherington Art Center, Queens University, Kingston, Ontario
Philadelphia Museum of Jewish Art
Hines Industrial, Boston, Massachusetts
Maimonides Hospital, Brooklyn, New York