Painting with Paper – collages by Nathan Stromberg

Clear Lake, IA– The Clear Lake Arts Center (CLAC) is pleased to be exhibiting the fascinating collage work by Nathan Stromberg titled Painting with Paper. The exhibition is on view through Saturday, February 1. A closing reception will be held from 12:30 – 2:30 on Saturday, February 1. Meet the artist and hear about his fascinating process.

Nathan Stromberg’s work navigates and comments on the historical space of post-war America as interpreted through the depiction of instantly recognizable period objects. His images possess a stylistic look bound to a specific place in history, a time in our collective American past that made us who we are today. These glimpses of the everyday, such as the shape of a chrome bumper and the stylized design of kitchen objects and period fashion, remain connections to real people through shared memory and speak to a collective national identity. In many ways they are modern icons; instantly recognized representations of a decade’s ideological connotations. Stromberg actively exploring this ideology as both American history and pedigree that we experience the past through relics and what will the visual culture of the present say to those in the future?

His process of making archival images into re-contextualized artworks becomes a means to explore the past and its implications for the present. These images communicate across decades, and have the ability to elicit a wide range of viewer responses, from feelings of nostalgia and longing for lost times to feelings of repression and skepticism. As art objects, they are accessible to nearly everyone and at first glance even appear superficial, but are simultaneously profound in the ideas they explore and the process by which they are made. The action of slowly remaking photographic source material into an artwork compels the viewer to reconsider what is depicted and search for its inherent meaning. The iconic object is given new life in a new context to comment on the ever changing American identity.

Nathan Stromberg (b. 1978 Springfield, MA) is a collage artist and painter based in St. Paul, Minnesota. He holds a Masters in Fine Arts degree from The Art Institute of Boston at Lesley University and a Studio Art degree from Bethel University.  For 15 years he has exhibited his work locally and nationally through many solo and group exhibitions. He has also created large scale painted murals, designed theater sets and illustrated award-winning children’s books. He teaches visual art and design to high school students in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

In 2017, he created 9 large-scale collage works for the permanent art collection of the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin. His work tends to reflect on iconic and nostalgic American subjects. Made from found newspaper and vintage color magazine fragments, his collages appear at first to be realistic photographs but on closer inspection contain loads of detail and historical references, exploring and commenting on the connections we make with designed objects.

Nathan Stromberg’s Website

Creative Family Fun will be held in conjunction with the Painting with Paper exhibition on Saturday, January 25 from 1 – 3 pm. Come view a time lapsed video of the artist working, see the exhibition, and try your hand at collage.


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