Nathan Randall Green: Hear the Stars

David Frazer: Improvisation – Beyond Reality

Press Release and Curator’s Essay

November 12, 2021 (Palo Alto, CA) - Qualia Contemporary is pleased to announce Hear the Stars, a solo exhibition of seven new paintings by Nathan Randall Green. His richly colored abstract artwork is inspired by — and in turn aims to inspire — deep moments of contemplation on the grandeur and scale of the universe. Hear the Stars extends Green’s meditation on these themes with new works that embrace a looser, more intuitive approach. Green’s inspiration is derived from the attempt to visually describe the exquisite and ethereal workings of the universe and translate that into abstract imagery, converting nebulous concepts into tangible, evocative works. Hear the Stars will be on view from December 9  through January 28 with an opening event on December 11 from 4 to 7 pm.


Green is known for his distinctly tactile, almost sculptural approach to painting; he uses paper pulp and gesso to create bumpy, organic surfaces onto which he layers acrylic paint, graphite, and ink. By applying graphic, geometric imagery on top of very textured surfaces, he combines the illusionary space of a painting with the physicality of sculpture. In this way he complicates the notion of technical perfection, creating more nuanced, imperfect landscapes. In his previous works, Green focused on a singular theoretical concept for each painting; in these new works , he combines multiple ideas and reference materials in unexpected  ways to create more visually complex compositions.


The paintings in this exhibition were originally conceived of as imaginary representations of the Inflationary Epoch, the brief moment of vast expansion in the primeval universe. By incorporating inspiration from paleolithic rock art, textile design, geologic formations, and infographic design into the visual language of his work, Green broadens his iconography to describe larger themes of space and time. Although he approaches the works with specific references in mind, the paintings are ultimately abstract, and Green defers to the viewers to create their own meaning from them. 


Conceptually, the artist draws a connection between the pastimes of gazing at the stars and looking at art — both activities encourage viewers to slow down, step outside of our corporal bodies and contemplate phenomena often overlooked in the sweeping rush of everyday life. The exhibition title, Hear the Stars, encourages viewers to broaden their perceptions of the possible and embrace a moment of contemplative wonder. 


About the Artist

Nathan Randall Green was born in Houston, Texas, and received his B.F.A. from the University of Texas at Austin. He is a founding member and partner of Okay Mountain Gallery and Collective in Austin, Texas and was a Curator of Education at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth. Most recently his work has been exhibited at Morgan Lehman Gallery in New York, Walter Storms Gallery in Munich, SPRING / BREAK in New York; The Pit Presents in Los Angeles; DEASIL in Austin; Barry Whistler Gallery in Dallas; and Left Field in San Luis Obispo, California. He has also participated in Artist-In-Residence programs in Connecticut, New York, Vermont, Michigan, Illinois, and Dallas, and has painted murals around the world. The artist currently lives and works in The Bronx.


111.jpg



November 12, 2021 (Palo Alto, CA) - Qualia Contemporary is pleased to announce Improvisation - Beyond Reality, the gallery’s first solo exhibition by abstract painter David Frazer. The show continues his decades-long practice of improvisational painting, encouraging accidents and making sense of the unknown as he goes. The complex and dense paintings embody his signature style, utilizing familiar motifs in an abstracted and evocative manner. Improvisation - Beyond Reality will be on view from December 9  through January 28 with an opening event on December 11 from 4 to 7 pm.


Inspired by the spontaneous spatial dynamics of natural forms, Frazer begins each painting without any predetermined design for the final work. He lays down intuitive surfaces of colors and shapes with oil paint, and then improvises organic forms in line. He applies his formalist training and brings order to his landscape surface with geometries, planes and images. The results are dense and colorful collage-like compositions with rich overlays and detailed imagery.


Frazer views abstraction as a process-based practice in which he creates an eclectic series of images and “languages” that work together to form a sense of harmonious continuity. Although his paintings include familiar objects like flowers, eggs, birds, and apples, this imagery is not meant to be viewed as literal or narrative elements. Rather, they act as harbingers of metaphorical meaning, loosely evoking themes of vulnerability, birth, love, risk, loss, sin, beauty, and currency. Together, these images blur the line between objective and nonobjective painting traditions, creating a unique expressive mood that the artist considers “visual poetry.”


Frazer’s working process is inspired by a broad range of historical artistic practices, including collage and abstract expressionism, traditional Chinese ink painting, and Dutch and Italian Renaissance painting, especially the work of Hugo van de Goes, Piero and Giotto.


About David Frazer

David Frazer, Professor Emeritus of Painting, Fine Arts Division, Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) has taught at RISD since 1978. He has his BFA from RISD 1970 in painting and his MA in painting from University of New Mexico (UNM) 1976. He has exhibited across the United States including: Gallery at Four, Tiverton, RI in 2021 and 2019, the Chazan Gallery, Providence, RI 2018, Newport Art Museum, Newport, RI, and at the Stanford Faculty Club, Stanford University in 2016.


In 1969-’70 as an undergraduate, he was chosen to participate in the RISD European Honors Program (EHP) Rome, Italy. During that year he travelled primarily in Italy and Holland. His early interest in Flemish painting was then heavily influenced by the frescoes of Giotto in Padua and particularly the frescoes of Piero della Francesca, Arezzo. Their colors and combination of realism and abstraction still influence his aesthetic.


In 1978 he began teaching at Rhode Island School of Design. He was appointed to the position of Chief Critic to the RISD Rome Program, the first alumni of that program to become its’ Chief Critic and professor in residence, 1995 -’98.  He continued to return to Rome and teach summer courses in painting and drawing at the Palazzetto Cenci Roma, for the next eight years.


In 1989 he did sponsored research at the Zhejiang Academy of Fine arts in Hangzhou, China, now the Central Academy of Art (CAA). He has had many trips to China, visits and lectures in Tianjin and Shenyang, with shows in 2014 at Beijing and Shenyang. Recent museum exhibitions in China include Hangzhou and Jinan 2017, and travelling exhibitions in Beijing, Urumqi, Karamay in 2017, and travelling exhibitions in Urumqi, Hami, and Beijing in 2018.

Read More
David Frazer

At Summer's End

2018

Oil on Canvas

36 x 30 in

David Frazer

Atmosphere

2019

Oil on Canvas

60 x 48 in

David Frazer

Caution

2019

Oil on Canvas

42 x 36 in

David Frazer

Day's End

2019

Oil on Canvas

62 x 50 in

David Frazer

Finland

2015

Oil on Canvas

72 x 66 in

David Frazer

Hubris #5

2010

Oil on Canvas

52 x 48 in

David Frazer

Hubris #6

2018

Oil on Canvas

52 x 48 in

David Frazer

Hubris #9

2010

Oil on Canvas

40 x 36 in

David Frazer

In The Hinterland

2019

Oil on Canvas

40 x 42 in

David Frazer

Last Embers of Daylight

2018

Oil on Canvas

36 x 30 in

David Frazer

Reflections

2016

Oil on Canvas

60 x 48 in

David Frazer

Rose Simple

2018

Oil on Canvas

60 x 42 in

David Frazer

Tall Tales

2011

Oil on Canvas

66 x 60 in

David Frazer

Timber

2013

Oil on Canvas

66 x 60 in

David Frazer

Westside

2019

Oil on Canvas

42 x 36 in

David Frazer

Yardplay

2015

Oil on Canvas

66 x 60 in

Nathan Rall Green

A Star (3 Skies)

2021

Acrylic, ink, graphite, collage and paper pulp on canvas, artist panel

47 x 59 in

Nathan Rall Green

E.C.U.M. (Landscape SM)

2021

Acrylic, ink, graphite, collage and paper pulp on canvas, artist panel

23 x 29 in

Nathan Rall Green

E.C.U.M. (Landscape SM) Stacked

2021

Acrylic, ink, graphite, collage and paper pulp on canvas, artist panel

23 x 29 in

Nathan Rall Green

Light Cone Landscape (4 Views)

2021

Acrylic, ink, graphite, collage and paper pulp on canvas, artist panel

23 x 29 in

Nathan Rall Green

Light Cone Landscape (SM)

2021

Acrylic, ink, graphite, collage and paper pulp on canvas, artist panel

23 x 29 in

Nathan Rall Green

R3 (The Place SM)

2021

Acrylic, ink, graphite, collage and paper pulp on canvas, artist panel

23 x 29 in

Nathan Rall Green

Twist Tiller (M)

2021

Acrylic, ink, graphite, collage and paper pulp on canvas, artist panel

35 x 47 in