Monday, October 6, 2008

Farewell, dear Nathan, my Prince of Pals


1918 - 2008

Dear Friends,

It is with profound sadness that I announce the passing of my dear friend Nathan Gluck. He died at the end of a beautiful sunset on Saturday, September 27, as the final rays of light set behind Mission Hills.

Anyone who ever visited the gallery during one of our openings over the past year may remember seeing Nathan, sitting quietly in a corner behind the front desk or near the flat files. He was an unassuming presence who nevertheless had a remarkable ability to draw people in with his warm, endearing personality, his charm, and his gift for gab. If you were fortunate enough to have met him, you instantly fell in love with him. He had an extraordinary sense of humor and playfulness, and an all-encompassing knowledge that seemed to know no boundary. The stories that he shared about his many years working with Andy Warhol in his pre-Pop studio in New York and all of the great artists and design masters of the 20th Century that he befriended along the way turned people into small children. They couldn't wait to hear more from this kind, gentle man.

It's hard for me to separate Nathan, the person, from Nathan the artist. The two were inextricably bound. Anyone who knew him personally can see his quirky, yet elegant sense of style, sharp wit, appreciation of language, music and the classics, and, above all, his oddball sense of humor reflected throughout his work. This is most apparent in the collages that he created beginning in 1995, during his 'retirement' period. It is in these works that Nathan finally found his unique voice, as if everything that he had ever collected over the years--all of the thoughts and ideas, competing influences and styles, tidbits of trivia and non-sense, recipes and scraps of ephemera--could no longer be contained and compartmentalized and simply exploded in a remarkable output of creativity. He leveled the playing field and everything became equal. It says so much about him as a person and an artist--honest, warm, unpretentious and a true original. I am truly fortunate to have known him.

Farewell, Dear Nathan. We love you very much and will miss you.

Memorial tributes will be held in New York and San Diego. In New York: Sunday, October 26th, 4:00 p.m., The West End Synagogue, 190 Amsterdam Avenue at 69th Street (behind Lincoln Center), New York, NY 10023; in San Diego: Sunday, November 2nd, 2:00 p.m., at the Athenaeum of Music and Arts Library, Rotunda Gallery, 1008 Wall Street, La Jolla, CA 92037, where his current exhibition of collages, titled "Limited Time Offer", continues through November 8.

Photo: Nathan Gluck by Gerard Melanga, 2005, taken in front of building where Andy Warhol shot "Sleep".

PS - As much as I would have liked to have posted this entry last week, I simply could not wrap my head around it. I hope you understand.

1 comment:

santi-jose acosta said...

I just wanted to say thank you for being there for Nathan all these years. He always had nothing but good things to say about you and your partner. I was always asking him why didn't the move out of NY where life had become so hard for him these last few years? I think he was afraid after living in NYCity most of his adult life. I was very please when he finally told me that he decided to move out to San Diego. I think he was happy with his choice nd seemed very please with everyone he had met there in such a short time. I'm only sorry that we didn't get that chance to visit him out here on the west coast. Thanks again for being a good and dear friend to Nathan.