Avery Z. Nelson

Born 1983
Rhinecliff, NY

Avery Z. Nelson's paintings capture a sense of movement and fluidity.

Zoe Avery Nelson
I Dance in Acid Rain, 2020
Oil on canvas
72 × 54 inches

Zoe Avery Nelson
I Assume, 2018
oil on canvas
48 × 46 inches

Colors slide from one hue to another, and shapes shift from abstraction toward a sense of swirling figuration.

Installation view, JDJ, Garrison, NY, 2018

Zoe Avery Nelson
Elephant no. 3 (impossible reach), 2018
oil on canvas
48 × 46 inches

Zoe Avery Nelson
Webb Dancing at Pano, 2019
Oil on canvas
20 × 16 inches

Much like their paintings, Nelson embodies a sense of fluidity, as their relationship to gender exists outside the normative male/female binary. The formal language embedded in their practice visually traverses through their feeling of identity.

Zoe Avery Nelson
Cosmic Pause, 2020
Oil on canvas
34 × 30 inches

Zoe Avery Nelson
un(bound), 2018
oil on canvas
48 × 42 inches

Zoe Avery Nelson
Body Building (shower scene), 2018
oil on canvas
48 × 42 inches

Zoe Avery Nelson (b. 1983 Rhinebeck, NY) and received an MFA from Columbia University in 2009. They are a recipient of the prestigious Sharpe-Walentas Residency for 2019-2020.

Zoe Avery Nelson
Green Raver, 2020
Oil on canvas
20 × 16 inches

Installation view, JDJ, Garrison, NY, 2018

Avery Z. Nelson

b. 1983, Rhinecliff, NY
Lives and works in New York, NY



MFA Painting, Columbia University, New York, NY


BFA Art History, Visual Art Concentration Barnard College, Columbia University, New York, NY

Solo Exhibitions


The Measure of a Boi, Rubber Factory, New York, NY


Body Building, JDJ | The Ice House, Garrison, NY


Summer Skin: Judy Ledgerwood + Zoe Nelson, Practise, Oak Park, IL (two-person)
From Off to On: Katy Kirbach + Zoe Nelson, Yellow Door Gallery, Des Moines, IA
Legacy Exhibition Series: New Work by Zoe Nelson, The Lighthouse Works Gallery, Fishers Island, NY


Zoe Nelson: Recto/Verso, Cleve Carney Art Gallery, McAninch Arts Center at College of DuPage, Glen Ellyn, IL


Zoe Nelson, Western Exhibitions, Chicago, IL


Deep Cuts: Zoe Nelson, Lloyd Dobler Gallery, Chicago, IL
Dear Resonance + the Memory Hole: Bradley Biancardi + Zoe Nelson, Roots & Culture Contemporary Art Center, Chicago, IL

Selected Group Exhibitions


Family Business, JDJ | Tribeca, New York, NY

36 Paintings, Harper’s Gallery, East Hampton, NY

Theorem Y, Mrs. Gallery, Maspeth, NY

Theorem X, Rachel Uffner Gallery, New York, NY


Sower, Rubber Factory, New York, NY

Surreality, Crush Curatorial, New York, NY

Paint School, Klaus Von Nichtssagend Gallery, New York, NY

Drinking the Reflection, Russo & Lee, Portland, OR


Now You See It, 1969 Gallery, New York, NY

RE_ARRANGE, Juxtapoz Projects, Mana Contemporary, Jersey City, NJ

New Acquisitions Exhibition, DePaul Art Museum, Chicago, IL

Wish Fulfillment, Curated by SineProjects (Kristen Smoragiewicz/Alex Tam), 190 Cook Street, Brooklyn, NY

Love Letter to Miro, Fresh Window Gallery, Brooklyn, NY

Cinnamon, Produce Model, Chicago, IL


The Shape of Things, O’Connor Art Gallery, Dominican University, River Forest, IL

Zone of Totality, Fernwey Gallery, Chicago, IL

Terrain Biennial, Outdoor Installation in Hyde Park, Chicago, IL

Simultaneous Contrast, Durden and Ray, Los Angeles, CA

In Between Two Bodies, South of the Tracks Projects, Chicago, IL


Never Far Away, LVL3 Gallery, Chicago, IL

A World Where Flowers Mean Something, ACRE, Chicago, IL

How Much Land, McCormick Gallery, Chicago, IL

XYZ, Greenpoint Terminal Gallery, Brooklyn, NY


Rocket Run, Abstraction from Chicago, Elder Gallery, Nebraska Wesleyan University, Lincoln, NE

Yr It: Zoe Nelson, Window Installation, Roots & Culture Contemporary Art Center, Chicago, IL


Information Processors, Usable Space, Milwaukee, WI


Material Assumptions, Columbia College Center for Book and Paper Arts, Chicago, IL

Issuing Forth, Robert Bills Contemporary, Chicago, IL


Portrait of a Soul, NURTUREart Gallery, Brooklyn, NY

Re-turn, McCagg Gallery, Barnard College, New York, NY


The Triumph of Now, Volume Black, New York, NY X.x., Art 101 Gallery, Brooklyn, NY


Settlements, Horse Trader Gallery, Brooklyn, NY

MFA Thesis Exhibition, Fisher Landau Center For Art, Long Island City, NY


First-Year MFA Exhibition, The Nash Building, Columbia University, New York, NY


Dix-Neuf, Centre International D'Art Contemporain, Pont-Aven, Brittany, France



Editor’s Pick, Art Maze Magazine, Summer Issue 8, Summer, 2018.

Nafziger, Christina "Zoe Nelson: The (Im)possibility of Fully Inhabiting My Own Fluidly Gendered Body", Art Maze Magazine, October 31, 2018.


Penski, Bailee “Artist Spotlight: Zoe Nelson,” Chicago Woman Magazine, December 4, 2017.


Miller, Chris “Maximalist Paintings with Frenetic Color,” Newcity Art, recommended,
November 21, 2016.

Sierzputowski, Kate "Interview", INSIDE\WITHIN, January 5, 2016.


Nichols, Thea, “Critic’s Pick: Zoe Nelson,” Artforum, November 5, 2015.

Schwindt, Sam, “DePaul art professor’s work explores feminist intersectionality,” The
DePaulia, November 5, 2015.

Kingston, Bridget “‘Recto / Verso slices its way into Cleve Carney Art Gallery,”
College of DuPage Courier, October 28, 2015.

Matt Morris, “Bonus Holes,” Catalogue Essay for Recto/Verso Exhibition at Cleve Carney
Art Gallery, October 18, 2015.

LVL3 Media, “Artist of the Week,” LVL3 Media, October 12, 2015.


Cristello, Stephanie “Perpendicular Painting: Zoe Nelson at Western Exhibitions,”
New American Paintings, January 23, 2014.

Miller, Chris “Zoe Nelson/Western Exhibitions,” Newcity Art, January 20, 2014.

Blake, Kevin “Off the wall, through the surface, and around the painting: A
conversation with Zoe Nelson,” Bad at Sports, January 20, 2014.

Zevitas, Steven “Must-see Painting Shows: Jan. 2014,” Huffington Post, January 7, 2014.


McAdams, Shane “From the Curb in Milwaukee: Usable Space,” Bad at Sports, October 25, 2013.

Crosby, Eric, "New American Paintings: No. 107 Midwest Edition," Editor’s Pick, August, 2013.

Cristello, Stephanie “Bradley Biancardi & Zoe Nelson/Roots & Culture,” Newcity
Art, June 5, 2013.


Widholm, Julie Rodrigues "New American Paintings: No. 95," Midwest Edition, August, 2011.

Awards & Residencies

2019-2020 Sharpe-Walentas Studio Program, Brooklyn, NY
2019 Paint School, Shandanken Projects, New York, NY
2015 ACRE (Artists’ Cooperative Residency and Exhibitions), Steuben, WI
2014 OxBow, Saugatuck, MI
2014 OxBow Residency Award, Saugatuck, MI
2013 The Lighthouse Works, Fishers Island, NY
2012 Community Arts Assistance Program (CAAP) Grant, City of Chicago, IL
2008 Ellen Gelman Endowed Fellowship, Columbia University, New York, NY
2006 Pont-Aven School of Contemporary Art, Pont-Aven, France
2005 Yale University Summer Program, Norfolk, CT
2006 Josephine Paddock Post-Baccalaureate Fellowship, Barnard College, New York, NY
2005 Ellen Battell Stoeckel Fellowship,, Yale University School of Art, New Haven, CT

Public Collections

DePaul Art Museum, Chicago, IL
Jiménez - Colón Collection, Ponce, Puerto Rico