Born in 1985 in Peoria, Illinois, USA
Lives and works in South Hadley, Massachusetts, USA


Nikki Maloof’s paintings depict the world hidden within the mind. Imagined interiors and animals become proxies for the human experience. Her subjects convey existential loneliness, but that loneliness is buoyed by humor, capricious paint handling, and the use of a saturated palette. A squiggle depicting ground meat, a cat’s meow being mistaken for a howl, or a comically disillusioned fish being filleted before our eyes, all draw the viewer’s attention to the melancholic and at times brutal tone of the imagery.  At the same time, the paint handling and colors attempt to undermine the dark nature of these images all together. This self-defeating melodrama points to an ambivalent view of existence, a need to laugh and cry even at once.

The paintings begin simply, often catalyzed by a basic formal painting idea. Maloof upsets familiarity and dodges cliché by treating areas of the canvas disparately, and by allowing patterns and textures to exist side by side.  Her painting process is a search for and then encouragement of the points where paint overwhelms subject. When this happens, time falls away and unexpected things are unearthed, things that are necessarily unplanned and unnamable, and that seem intrinsic to the material itself.


MFA, Yale University, New Haven, CT

BFA, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN

solo shows

Skunk Hour, Perrotin, New York, NY

Gutted, Sorry We're Closed, Brussels, Belgium

Nervous Appetite, Nino Mier, Los Angeles, CA
What Did I Know of Your Days, Nikki Maloof and Danielle Orchard, V1 Gallery,Copenhagen, Denmark

Separation Anxiety, Shane Campbell Gallery, Chicago, IL

Caught and Free, Jack Hanley Gallery, New York, NY 2018 Separation Anxiety, Shane Campbell Gallery, Chicago, IL 2017 Chauve Souris, The Pit, Los Angeles, CA

After Midnight, Jack Hanley Gallery, New York, NY

group shows

The Echo of Picasso, Museo Picasso, Málaga, Spain
Pleasure Principle, Francois Ghebaly, NY

Dangerous Pattern, JDJ, Garrison, NY
Best in Show, Jack Hanley Gallery, New York, NY

36 Paintings, Harper's Books, East Hampton, NY
Animal Kingdom, Alex Berggruen Gallery, New York, NY
Mass Ornament, curated by Alison M. Gingeras, South Etna, Montauk, NY
Drawings, Nino Mier Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

Invitational Exhibition of Visual Arts, The American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York, NY
Cheeky: Summer Butts, Marinaro Gallery, New York, NY

30th Anniversary Exhibition, Jack Hanley Gallery, New York, NY
Drawing Island, The Journal Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
Horror Vacui, or The Annihilation of Space, Misako and Rosen, Tokyo, Japan
A Forest on the Edge of Time, The Pit, Los Angeles, CA

The Great Figure Two, The Journal Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
Imagine, Brand New Gallery, Milan, Italy

Let's Get Figurative, Nicelle Beauchene Gallery, New York, NY
Tiger Tiger, Salon 94, New York, NY
Please Excuse Our Appearance, 247365, New York, NY
Immediate Female, Judith Charles Gallery, New York, NY

Buying Friends: The Kartman Collection, Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts (UICA), Grand Rapids, Ml
Dont Look Now, Zach Feuer, New York, NY
Other People's Paintings, Torrance Shipman, Brooklyn, NY
Do The Yale Thing, N'Namdi Center for Contemporary Art, Detroit, Ml
Shrink It, Pink It, Cathouse FUNeral, Brooklyn, NY

Summer Mix, Thierry Goldberg, New York, NY
Diff'rent Strokes, Louis B. James, New York, NY
Deep Cuts, Anna Kustera, New York, NY

public collections

By Art Matters, Hangzhou, China


Helen W Winternitz Award in Painting and Printmaking

Gloucester Landscape Prize


B. Walsh, "Nikki Maloof's paintings will Satiate You," Forbes, December.

W. Ludel, "Critics' Picks," Artforum, April.
S. lndrisek, "Nikki Maloof's Animals Are As Freaked Out As We All Are".

E. Burns, "Interview With Nikki Maloof", Maake Magazine. Garage, March.

S. lndrisek, "From the Subtle to the Sexual, lndependent's Eighth Edition Carves Its Own Path," Artsy, March 3.
D. Ouray, "Independent fair delivers on diversity and quality with early sales," ArtNewspaper, March 3.
J. Farago & M. Schwendener, "What to See at New York's Art Fairs This Week," TheNew York Times, March 2.
K. McMahon, "Habitat: Fair thee Well - Visits with Artists in Their Studios Before Independent New York," ARTNews, March 2.
S. Eckardt, "The Women Artists Taking Over the Armory," W Magazine, March 1.

J. Saltz, "To Do: December 14-December 28, 2016," New York Magazine, December 14.
S. Eckardt, "After Midnight in Artist Nikki Maloof's Unsettling Menagerie", W Magazine, December 18.
M. Schwendener,"What to See in New York Art Galleries This Week," The New YorkTimes, December 15.
C. Lesser, "15 New York Group Shows You Need to See This July", Artsy, June 28.

S. Gray, "Immediate Female at Judith Charles," Widewalls, January.
P. Frank,"10 Badass Emerging Female Artists You Should Know," Huffington Post,January 15.
J. Maleszka, "Judith Charles Gallery Presents 'Immediate Female'," Leveled, January 22."30 Emerging Artists to Watch This Summer," Artsy, July 14.
B. Gopnik, "At Salon 94, Nikki Maloof's 'Tiger' Is a Very Humane Beast," Artnews,August 5.

  • March 9, 2023
    Women's Wear Daily — 1 PAGE

  • December 15, 2020
    Forbes — 3 PAGES

  • August 1, 2019
    Vogue — 3 PAGES

  • December 15, 2016
    The New York Times — 2 PAGES