Nolan Haan Paintings with an architectual point of view
Nolan Haan contemporary artist
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Society, a cinder block wall painted by Nolan Haan
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Nolan Haan with Society• acrylic on silk
96 x 96 inches • $24,000
Nolan Haan with Society• acrylic on silk • 96 x 96 inches • $24,000


Hi, I'm Nolan. Although I look normal, my family thinks I've gone completely insane. You see, I used to be a successful wildlife artist. Then one day something happened. To my family's chagrin, I abandoned a painting of ducks swimming in a marsh. Instead, I unveiled a painting of a cinder block wall. No, it was not a psychotic break. I had an epiphany. Here's what happened…

Peacock by Nolan Haan

I had recently finished a large painting of a peacock. It was my masterpiece. Everyone loved it and wanted me to leave it for them in my will. But in the back of my mind I thought, "Of course it's beautiful. When your subject is a peacock, you're going to end up with a beautiful painting." Art should surprise you and challenge you in some way. It should create a sense of wonder. And it should transform your awareness and definition of beauty.

Cinder block wall with figures by Nolan Haan

One afternoon, after a long day of painting, I sat in my basement studio, sipping a cocktail. I stared at the old, paint splattered walls and thought, "That wall is amazing. What if I did a painting of a cinder block wall?" A concept was born.

Two cinder block walls by nolan haan
It took six months of experimenting to produce a realistic wall. I had always painted on Belgian linen, but the weave of the canvas compromised the illusion of cement. In desperation, I tried a piece of silk. Voila, I had found my medium. But how do I justify such an unusual point of view?

Minimal cinder block wall by Nolan Haan
A Campbell's soup can was never considered art until Andy Warhol proved that something banal can achieve eminence. One must paint it with respect and present it in an elegant manner. Roy Lichtenstein changed the definition of art by elevating comics into a high art form. Lichtenstein taught me that a subject can transcend it origins. Jackson Pollock found beauty in paint spilled on his studio floor. For ages, artists had spilled paint, but only Pollock saw in it something special. Because of Pollock, I search for beauty at my feet. I search for unintended abstractions that others do not notice.

Concrete block painted by Nolan Haan

I decided to champion the overlooked, the unglamorous. It's too easy to enjoy the beauty of a flower, a peacock, or a sunset. The challenge is to discover the beauty in a dirty sidewalk. My chosen muse is a mundane, disregarded object we walk by every day without a glance. I paint portraits of concrete blocks and cinder block walls. I acknowledge their flaws and celebrate their imperfections, for therein lies their beauty. I want to entice you to fall in love with the pits and scratches and ill-applied mortar. I want to engage you with a chunk of cement. My paintings succeed if one day you pause on the street and say, "Now THAT is a beautiful wall."

Discombobulated, a pile of concrete blocks by Nolan Haan

Cement blocks exude strength, character, and personality. They provide me with the ideal vehicle to tell my story. Can I elevate this humble building material into artwork that you find compelling? That is my goal. I am addicted to walls and seduced by cement.

Naked, a cinder block painted by Nolan Haan

I am the only artist in the world who specializes in paintings of concrete blocks and cinder block walls. I seek open-minded collectors like those who took a chance on a Warhol, a Lichtenstein, or a Pollock. I hope you trust your instincts enough to embrace my unusual aesthetic. I want you to look at a painting of cement and say, "WOW!"

Hi, I'm Nolan. Although I look normal, my family thinks I've gone completely insane. You see, I used to be a successful wildlife artist. Then one day something happened. To my family's chagrin, I abandoned a painting of ducks swimming in a marsh. Instead, I unveiled a painting of a cinder block wall. No, it was not a psychotic break. I had an epiphany. Here's what happened…

I had recently finished a large painting of a peacock. It was my masterpiece. Everyone loved it and wanted me to leave it for them in my will. But in the back of my mind I thought, "Of course it's beautiful. When your subject is a peacock, you're going to end up with a beautiful painting." Art should surprise you and challenge you in some way. It should create a sense of wonder. And it should transform your awareness and definition of beauty.

One afternoon, after a long day of painting, I sat in my basement studio, sipping a cocktail. I stared at the old, paint splattered walls and thought, "That wall is amazing. What if I did a painting of a cinder block wall?" A concept was born.

It took six months of experimenting to produce a realistic wall. I had always painted on Belgian linen, but the weave of the canvas compromised the illusion of cement. In desperation, I tried a piece of silk. Voila, I had found my medium. But how do I justify such an unusual point of view?

Cinder block wall with cave painting by Nolan Haan A Campbell's soup can was never considered art until Andy Warhol proved that something banal can achieve eminence. One must paint it with respect and present it in an elegant manner. Roy Lichtenstein changed the definition of art by elevating comics into a high art form. Lichtenstein taught me that a subject can transcend it origins. Jackson Pollock found beauty in paint spilled on his studio floor. For ages, artists had spilled paint, but only Pollock saw in it something special. Because of Pollock, I search for beauty at my feet. I search for unintended abstractions that others do not notice.
Minimal cinder block wall by Nolan Haan
I decided to champion the overlooked, the unglamorous. It's too easy to enjoy the beauty of a flower, a peacock, or a sunset. The challenge is to discover the beauty in a dirty sidewalk. My chosen muse is a mundane, disregarded object we walk by every day without a glance. I paint portraits of concrete blocks and cinder block walls. I acknowledge their flaws and celebrate their imperfections, for therein lies their beauty. I want to entice you to fall in love with the pits and scratches and ill-applied mortar. I want to engage you with a chunk of cement. My paintings succeed if one day you pause on the street and say, "Now THAT is a beautiful wall."

Cement blocks exude strength, character, and personality. They provide me with the ideal vehicle to tell my story. Can I elevate this humble building material into artwork that you find compelling? That is my goal. I am addicted to walls and seduced by cement.

I am the only artist in the world who specializes in paintings of concrete blocks and cinder block walls. I seek open-minded collectors like those who took a chance on a Warhol, a Lichtenstein, or a Pollock. I hope you trust your instincts enough to embrace my unusual aesthetic. I want you to look at a painting of cement and say, "WOW!"

DNA, a concrete block painted by Nolan Haan


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Complex Personality • acrylic on silk • 96" x 96"
(click on image to enlarge painting)
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