About: Nina Chanel Abney

Born in Harvey, Illinois, 1982. B.F.A.: Augustana College, Rock Island, Illinois, 2004. M.F.A.: Parsons School of Design, NYC, NY, 2007. Lives and works in New York.

Combining representation and abstraction, Nina Chanel Abney’s paintings capture the frenetic pace of contemporary culture. Broaching subjects as diverse as race, celebrity, religion, politics, sex, and art history, her works eschew linear storytelling in lieu of disjointed narratives. The effect is information overload, balanced with a kind of spontaneous order, where time and space are compressed and identity is interchangeable. Her distinctively bold style harnesses the flux and simultaneity that has come to define life in the 21st century. Through a bracing use of color and unapologetic scale, Abney’s canvases propose a new type of history painting, one grounded in the barrage of everyday events and funneled through the velocity of the internet.

Nina Chanel Abney will present her work in 2024 solo exhibitions at The School | Jack Shainman Gallery, Kinderhook, NY and Jeffrey Deitch, Los Angeles. She has been honored with past solo exhibitions at the Savannah College of Art and Design, Georgia (2023); the Museum of Contemporary Art, Cleveland (2023); the Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami (2022); the Gordon Parks Foundation, Pleasantville, New York (2022; traveled to Henry Art Gallery, Seattle); the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston (2019–21); Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2018); and the Contemporary Dayton, Ohio (2021). Additionally, her solo exhibition at the Nasher Museum of Art, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina (2017), toured to the Chicago Cultural Center; Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, and the California African American Museum, Los Angeles; and the Neuberger Museum of Art, Purchase College, State University of New York. Abney was recently commissioned to transform Lincoln Center’s new David Geffen Hall façade in New York, drawing from the cultural heritage of the neighborhood previously known as San Juan hill that comprised African American, Afro-Caribbean, and Puerto Rican families. Abney's recent public mural at the Miami World Center was similarly inspired by Overtown, a historic Black neighborhood in Miami. Abney’s work is held in the collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Brooklyn Museum, New York; the Bronx Museum, New York; the Dallas Museum of Art, Texas; the Rubell Family Collection, Florida; the Nasher Museum of Art, North Carolina; and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts; amongst others.

  • "Art should destabilize. Whatever the subject of my work, my goal is to leave it neutral enough so that all points of view are represented. It was with this in mind that I began to create figures whose subject cannot be reduced to labels. Painting does not deliver any fixed history."

    - Nina Chanel Abney

  • CV

    Solo shows
    The School | Jack Shainman Gallery, Kinderhook, New York. "Lie Doggo"

    Jeffrey Deitch, Los Angeles, California. "Nina Chanel Abney"
    moCa, Cleveland, Ohio. "Nina Chanel Abney: Big Butch Synergy"

    Savannah College of Art and Design, Savannah, Georgia. "Nina Chanel Abney: Big Butch Energy / Synergy"

    Art Museum of West Virginia University, Morgantown, West Virginia. "Nina Chanel Abney"
    ICA Miami, Florida. "Nina Chanel Abney: Big Butch Energy"

    Pace Prints, New York. "Framily Ties / You Win Some, You Lose Some"

    The Gordon Parks Foundation, Pleasantville, New York and Henry Art Gallery, Seattle, Washington.  "Nina Chanel Abney: Fishing Was His Life"
    The Contemporary Drayton, Ohio. "Nina Chanel Abney"
    ADAA: The Art Show, Pace Prints, New York. "Who's Got Team Spirit?"

    Jack Shainman Gallery, New York. "The Great Escape"
    Neuberger Museum of Art, Purchase, New York. “Nina Chanel Abney: Royal Flush”

    Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach, FL. "Nina Chanel Abney: Neon"

    Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, Massachusetts. "Nina Chanel Abney"
    Pace Prints, New York. "Nina Chanel Abney"

    Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, California; California African American Museum, Los Angeles, California; Chicago Cultural Center, Chicago, Illinois. “Nina Chanel Abney: Royal Flush”

    Palais de Tokyo, Paris, France. "Hot to Trot. Not."

    The Modern, Fort Worth, Texas. "FOCUS: Nina Chanel Abney"
    Nasher Museum of Art, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina. "Dealer's Choice"

    Nasher Museum of Art, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina. “Nina Chanel Abney: Royal Flush”

    Mary Boone Gallery, New York. “Safe House”

    Jack Shainman Gallery, New York. “Seized the Imagination”
    The Gateway Project, Newark, New Jersey. “If You Say So…”
    Kravets | Wehby Gallery, New York. "Always a Winner"

    Galeria Rabieh, São Paulo, Brazil. "If You Say So..."
    Nassau County Museum, New York. "AfterModernism"
    Anna Kustera Gallery and Kravets | Wehby Gallery, New York. "I Dread to Think"
    Fred Gallery, London, United Kingdom. "Go Berserker!"
    Kravets | Wehby Gallery, New York. "Emma's Basement"
    Kravets | Wehby Gallery, New York. "Dirty Wash"
  • Selected Group Shows
    Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas. "Multiplicity: Blackness in Contemporary American Collage"

    Pilar Corrias, London, United Kingdom. "Conversation Galante"
    Baltimore Museum of Art, Maryland. "The Culture: Hip Hop and Contemporary Art in the 21st Century"

    Everson Museum of Art, Syracuse, New York. "Hoop Dreams: Basketball and Contemporary Art"

    International African American Museum, Charleston, South Carolina; and Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, Birmingham, Alabama. "Men of Change: Power. Triumph. Truth." 

    Frist Art Museum, Nashville, Tennessee. "Multiplicity: Blackness in Contemporary American Collage."
    Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa, Cape Town, South Africa. "When We See Us: A Century of Black Figuration in Painting."
    Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia. "Matisse Alive"

    Susan Inglett Gallery, New York. "Re: Bicycling"

    Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach, Florida. "Art Finds a Way."
    Anthony Gallery, Chicago, Illinois. "1988"

    Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery, Saratoga Springs, New York. "Never Done: 100 Years of Women in Politics and Beyond"

    Thomas Gilcrease Institute of American History and Art, Tulsa, Oklahoma. "Men of Change: Power. Triumph. Truth."
    Jeffrey Deitch, Los Angeles, California. "Punch"

    Mary Boone Gallery, New York. "Paintings"

    Stems Gallery, Brussels, Belgium. "New Image Portrait. 
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  • Selected Public Works
    Mural for Meta, Tower Bar at Oasis Wynwood, Miami, Florida. 

    "NYC-Love" Installation, High Line Art, New York

    Mural, Miami Worldcenter, Miami, Florida. 
    Basketball Court, Juan Morel Campos Secondary School, Brooklyn, New York

    "Fun # 1", Pediatric Ambulatory Clinic, Elmhurst Hospital, Queens, New York

    Mural, Citizen M Hotel, Chicago, IL

    "San Juan Heal", façade of David Geffen Hall, Lincoln Center, New York

    Mural, Century Park Elementary School Library, Inglewood, California

    Soho House Immersive Hallway experience, Miami, Florida
    Wall, Kranzenberg Arts Foundation, St. Louis, Missouri

    "Generally Speaking", Yorkville murals, ArtworxTO, Toronto, Canada

    Rooftop basketball court for EA Sports FIFA, The Ground, New York
    Wallpaper, Wilmer Eye Clinic, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland

    "Mull it Over", Oz Arts Foundation, Bentonville, Arkansas

    Public Art Fund, Art on the Grid, New York
    Art wall, Institute of Contemporary Art Boston, Massachusetts

    "Femme Games", Musee Art Contemporaine Lyon, Lyon Biennale, Lyon, France

    Basketball court, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, North Carolina

    Wall, Graduate Bloomington, Indiana

    Mural, Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse Arena, Cleveland, Ohio