Nina Chanel Abney: Royal Flush

by Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University

This comprehensive monograph accompanies the first, solo-museum exhibition to focus on Nina Chanel Abney's paintings since 2007. It features texts by Richard J. Powell (acclaimed art historian and Duke University scholar), Natalie Y. Moore (South Side bureau reporter for WBEZ), and the exhibition's curator Marshall N. Price (curator of modern and contemporary art with the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University). It also includes a rich conversation between the artist and Jamillah James (curator with the Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles) in which they explore Abney's creative process and matriculation from art student to art-world rising star.

In the opening statement of James's interview, she describes Abney's paintings as "Bringing together the dynamism of Picasso [...], Robert Colescott’s acerbic historical reimaginings, and an incisive distillation of pop cultural and socio-political content....Her fondness for ambiguity reveals itself in cryptic strings of text and fractured bodies with mismatched parts askew, updating for the digital age the surrealist exercises of chance poetry and the exquisite corpse.” Using this assessment as a springboard, the overall book design is imbued with a similar sense of organized chaos. Riots of bold color and geometric form are contained within a multi-column grid, giving the complex system of hierarchy, extended reading copy, and illustrations the flexibility it needs to deftly hold the loaded subject matter and frenetic imagery that underpins Abney's work. The typographic and color treatments act as indexical signifiers for painting and design tradition and are encoded with questions concerning social injustice, patriotism, and the rhetoric of inclusion/exclusion.

Set In: Sangli (Insigne Design); Calendus Plus (Atipo Foundry)
Dimensions: 11 x 9 inches
Text Stock: 100# Endurance Silk Text
Cover Stock: 15 Pt Tango, 6.5-inch flap (softcover)
Treatments: Spot UV and embossed cover


Silver in Book Design 2019

Created by:

Design Director

Renee Cagnina Haynes

Design Company

Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University


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Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University

Design Team

Renee Cagnina Haynes


Entrant Companies

Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, US

Individual Credits

Designer: Renee Cagnina Haynes, Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University