Natalie Settles

Natalie Settles’ work intermingles the history and inquiries of art and science. She traces the bigger picture within pattern and chaos, the ideal and particular, damage and decay in the life of beauty and complexity, and things that are powerful, intricate and also fleeting. Through her practice, she has collaborated with researchers in biochemistry, botany, and physiology, as well as developmental and evolutionary biology. Part research, part meditation, her work in various media often takes the form of drawing and large-scale drawing installations.

Settles has an MFA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and has exhibited nationally and internationally since 1999. She explored the world of material histories, interning at the Smithsonian Institution as a model-maker and sculptor, creating objects for the National Museum of Natural History, American History, and the American Indian. In 2007 she lived and worked in Cambridge, UK independently researching Victorian design and topics in biology for her series of drawings on paper and wall. Settles was a 2008 Wisconsin Arts Board Fellow with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts. Her wall drawing environment entitled Ornament and Architecture was featured in the 2011 Pittsburgh Biennial. In 2012 she served as Assistant Curator and essayist for The Andy Warhol Museum’s Factory Direct exhibition of artist – industry collaborations. From 2011 to 2014 Settles was Artist in Residence collaborating with Stephen Tonsor’s Laboratory for Plant Evolutionary Genetics at the University of Pittsburgh with funding from the broader impacts of the lab’s National Science Foundation funding, as well as funds from The Pittsburgh Foundation and The Heinz Endowments. Resulting from her time in the lab, she is now working on a digitally evolving cast-light “wallpaper” that is both a work of art and a system of scientific experimentation. Settles is based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.