Nancy Cadogan (born in 1979) is a British figurative painter living in the UK. Her work ranges from still life to landscape via portrait and is notable for its combination of a traditional painterly style with an almost abstract approach to her subject matter. She was named as one of the 'Top 20 New British Art Talents' by Tatler magazine in 2008, describing her as ‘the new Paula Rego.
Life and career
Born in Cincinnati, United States, Cadogan led a peripatetic early childhood, including stints in Crete and Cyprus with her father, the eminent archaeologist Gerald Cadogan. The family settled in the UK and Cadogan attended Oxford High School followed by City and Guilds of London Art School before graduating from Canterbury Christ Church University with Degree in Fine Art Painting in 2002. She moved to New York shortly after, sharing a studio in the Starrett-Lehigh Building with artist Franco Ciarlo.
Success came quickly with sell-out solo shows at Frost & Reed, New York in 2005 and 2006, the former featuring “a series of dramatic paintings depicting the vast Utah landscapes.” In 2008 Cadogan returned to the UK and followed her early success with another solo show at Sladmore Contemporary, London. With breaks for motherhood, she continues to paint from her studio in Northamptonshire and most recently featured in shows with Art Bastion. Miami, in Miami and Southampton, USA and The Blue Edition in London.
In 2017, along with Tracey Emin, Rachael Whiteread and Cornelia Parker she was one of 93 women artists chosen to exhibit their work in The Ned, London, in its permanent Vault 100 exhibition highlighting the disparity between women and men CEOs.
Cadogan's paintings are characterised by a contrast between a traditional painterly style, a strong design element, and landscapes filtered through the imagination to become almost abstract. She was taught by the school of Euan Uglow and her painting style shows the influence of his work. Other influences include early David Hockney, Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, Paul Cezanne and Georges De La Tour. Much of her earlier work focused on portrait and landscapes, and "demonstrate[s] a skillful and purposeful use of colour, balanced with planes and spaces that draw your eye out into large vistas."
In more recent work, which can be seen on Artsy and Art Sales Index, Nancy turns to the concepts of stillness and place, both in the sense of a still life and the various emotional connotations held semantically. Her works are deceptively simple but require deep reading. She has stated, "I am interested in stillness, not only in the sense of a still life and how that tradition explores the passing of time, but actual physical stillness." Critics have also noted her strong use of colour, particularly blues.
Cadogan's subject matter has included Morocco, Utah and Lake Como. In recent work Cadogan has focused on still lives, almost exclusively books. In one sense, the works are typical of the still life genre and record a sense of time passing. In another, they reflect on the concept of stillness more widely, as a rare condition within our hyper-networked contemporary reality, and instead celebrate quiet reflection. As Cadogan has stated, ‘The book – the actual physical paper bound object full of words – is a treasure in this modern era. A book contains an entire universe you can only bring to life in your imagination, if you agree to give it time. It is a tribute to privacy, an honouring of the interior life.'
In her most recent works Cadogan has chosen to focus on large-scale pieces reflecting the beauty of the every day and the inner life of the mind. Saatchi Gallery Director Philippa Adams stated, "“Nancy’s works delightfully capture the sensation of being lost in one’s own thoughts. Their joyful exuberance brings a moment of reflection and calm in today’s uncertain world.” 
She predominantly works with oil on board, linen and canvas.
- 2002 Graduation Show, Mall Galleries, London
- 2003 Gallery 47, London
- 2005 Recent Paintings: Utah Landscapes. Frost and Reed Gallery, NYC
- 2004 Recent Paintings: Morocco. Frost and Reed Gallery, NYC
- 2005 Solo Show, Sextant inc, NYC
- 2006 Grand Beginnings. GrandyArt, Arndean Gallery, London
- 2007 Group Show, GrandyArt, Smithfield Gallery, London
- 2008 Recent Paintings. Sladmore Contemporary, London
- 2011 Art for Charity Auction, Christie’s, Milan
- 2011 21st Chelsea Antiquarian Book Fair, London
- 2016 A Sense of Place. Art Bastion, Miami
- 2016 Art Southampton 2016, Miami
- 2016 The Blue Edition, 68 Kinnerton Street, London
- 2017 Still Reading, Shapero Modern/Sladmore Contemporary, London
- 2019 Mind Zero, Saatchi Gallery, London
She is married with three children and lives in Northamptonshire.
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