An image of Umoo Chu Moo

Ron Nagle

(United States of America 21 Feb 1939 – )

Umoo Chu Moo

Not on display
Further information

“My intention is to make images as ambiguous as possible so that viewers can create their own story” – Ron Nagle, 2014 [1]

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.

'Umoo chu moo' – along with its peers 'Pastafairian', 'Leg of limb', 'Commander in chef' – 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.

[1]Sterling Ruby 2014, Interview with Ron Nagle, Cfile.Daily, <>

ceramic, glaze, catalyzed polyurethane, epoxy resin and aluminum
16.5 x 15.8 x 11.4 cm
Purchased 2014
Accession number
© Ron Nagle