- Media category
- Materials used
- ceramic, glaze, catalyzed polyurethane, epoxy resin and aluminum
- 13.9 x 20.3 x 8.2 cm
- Purchased 2014
- Not on display
- Accession number
- © Ron Nagle
- Artist information
Works in the collection
“My intention is to make images as ambiguous as possible so that viewers can create their own story” – Ron Nagle, 2014 
Across a five-decade career, Ron Nagle has shown a profound commitment to making extraordinarily delicate, idiosyncratic and hard-to-pin-down sculptural objects. He is an artist with roots in the traditions of ceramics as well as the ceramics revolution that occurred in Los Angeles around the mid-twentieth century. His works are exercises in sculptural suggestion, drawing us close in an attempt to identify just what or who we are looking at.
'Commander in chef' – along with its peers 'Umoo chu moo', 'Leg of limb' and 'Pastafairian' -- exemplifies Nagle’s interests in colour, humour, metamorphosis and allusion. Each work puts forward his particular brand of comic formalism, where model airplanes and San Francisco hot rod culture meet the intimate still-lifes of painter Giorgio Morandi.
Nagle’s colour frequently activates the sense of taste: in this group of works we see wasabi greens, cake-icing pink and tempered-chocolate browns. These associations are at once amplified and complicated by Nagle’s playful and punning titles. With their spindly asparagus stalks and saucy glazes, this group of works might also recall contemporary food culture and our obsession with the perfectly presented meal.
Sterling Ruby 2014, Interview with Ron Nagle, Cfile.Daily, <https://cfileonline.org/interview-ruby-sterling-speaks-ron-nagle>
Shown in 1 exhibition
Something living, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 19 Aug 2017–11 Feb 2018
Referenced in 1 publication
John Saxby (Editor), Look, Sydney, Jan 2018-Feb 2018.